• Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley next to barn
    Family & Friends

    FaceTime with my Family

    “Tell Chris the family loves him.” It was a text from my dad, something that might not seem like a lot, but from my dad, it was a big deal. My father is a man who is loyal to the people around him, and who loves me and my sister and his grandkids so much, but he is also someone who doesn’t always express that emotion so readily in writing. His birthday cards to me always say something like, “Enjoy your birthday. Love, Dad.” My dad is obviously not unfeeling or unsentimental – on the contrary, he’s been devoted to our family for the entirety of his life. First, to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with son Tommy looks away from camera
    Family & Friends

    I’ll Be Paying People Back for Carpool When I’m 80

    I was at a party a few months ago, and someone asked me how I was doing. I told her that I was okay, managing life day-by-day, and learning how to ask for a lot of help. “The thing about asking for help,” I said, “is that I have to ask people to do things for me knowing that I’ll never pay them back.” “Of course you do,” the woman said back. “It’s different, of course, but when I was working in government, I needed a lot of help with my kids. It’s been years, but I always say that I’ll be paying people back for carpool when I’m 80.”…

  • Notes and typewriter like those of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    What About the Privilege?

    The thing about being a writer is that – shockingly! – not everyone is going to like everything that you write. Sometimes people write me privately and sometimes they comment on my blog. Almost always, I let negative comments on my blog stay, because it’s important that I hear other people’s opinions, especially other widows. (I do delete vitriolic comments, because no one needs that.) Anyway, I wrote this post a few days ago about tough love, thinking that I was being thought-provoking about how to treat people who are in the early days of grieving. I talked about all of the support I had received, which I’ve documented on…

  • Arms in washing machine like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    What Not to Say

    Tough Love

    I read a lot of things about grief, much of it online. There are some really great websites that deal with grief (like Modern Loss) and also a ton of Facebook/Reddit/Instagram/Twitter resources and forums. In a lot of these places, people come together to say something like, “I lost a person I love and cry every day. How did other people cope?” I almost never post in these forums. I love that there are places on the internet where people can go for support, but I would rather rely on the support I get from my blog readers and my in-person friends and family. Sometimes I do post an encouraging…

  • Husband of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley kisses their baby on the cheek


    Back in the late summer of 2002, when Shawn and I were falling in love, we had a night when we were laying around my apartment, talking about life. My head was in his lap, and he brushed my hair with his fingers. We sat on tatami mats, their smell slightly permeating the room, and the hum of the air conditioner came on and off throughout our conversation. We took turns asking each other the big questions. “What’s your biggest regret?” I asked him at one point. He took a deep breath, and then surprised me with his answer. “When I was in 8th grade, I was at a dance,…

  • Austin Brimley playing hockey with DC Widow blog writer Marjorie Brimleys husband Shawn
    Family & Friends

    The Fans in the Stands

    “Nice shot Claire!” yelled the man sitting next to me. I barely knew him, but he was a parent of another girl on the basketball team. The shot had actually bounced off the rim of the basketball hoop, but this random father was still yelling encouragement to Claire. She looked in our direction. I gave her a thumbs-up. As I’ve written about before, sports are not my thing. I don’t know the first thing about whether my kid is off-sides or needs to go back and tag first base before running to second. I don’t watch sports and apart from a brief stint as a cheerleader, I don’t play them…