• Microphone for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Missing Shawn

    What If?

    I teach the only International Relations class at my school, so I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months listening to the news. I am a particular fan of podcasts, because I can also cook or clean or do other tasks while I listen. And right now, all I’m listening to is one news analysis after another, particularly around the war in Ukraine. Did Putin miscalculate? What do we know about Zelensky? How are refugees faring? I like listening to podcasts, because I like knowing about the world and because – like many people – I find it hard to look away from what’s happening in Ukraine.…

  • Claire Brimley, daughter of DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale, at the colon cancer race in DC
    Missing Shawn

    They Remain for Me, Too

    The kids know that the annual 5K ScopeItOut run (put on by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance) is a really big deal in our house. We talk about it for weeks and they know that the team is one that is in honor of their dad Shawn. We even have t-shirts. They are all still young enough that they think the team name “The Turd Offset” is hilarious. (Lots of team names utilize the puns of butts, and ours is the same. Shawn worked on “The Third Offset” strategy when he was in government.) In any case, this year was no different. Everyone was excited to do the run, and for…

  • Shawn Brimley with children and DC widow writer Marjorie Hale in field for dream blog
    New Perspectives

    Dreams of Shawn

    I’ve always had a lot of dreams. And also a number of nightmares. When I was little, those dreams were about playgrounds and neighborhood friends. My recurring nightmare was about a mean witch who tried to cook me in a pot. As I grew, my dreams were about the good things around me (getting asked to prom by someone I liked), and my nightmares were about my fears (making a fool of myself at a school assembly). As my mom grew sicker, sometimes these nightmares were actually scary. Once she died, I often had nightmares where my dad or my sister would die too. So I guess it’s not strange…

  • Rings and other jewelry for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Why Does It Feel Like Cheating If He’s Dead?

    It took six months after Shawn died before I took off my wedding ring. I did it on a short trip, unceremoniously, as I sat in a hotel room by myself. Shortly thereafter, I met a man at the hotel’s pool, one who made me laugh and made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a very long time. And yes, before you ask, it didn’t end there. He came back to my hotel room, and I let him in. And yet, before it could get too far, it struck me that I had a stranger in a hotel room with me. I’m not cheating, I said to myself, but…

  • Shawn Brimley with children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale in alley playing hockey

    People You May Know

    Below is a post that was written by my husband, Chris. As I’ve noted before, I wish he would write more often, but he feels that this blog is mine and so he usually wants to stay in the background. Still, I managed to convince him to write something recently, and it struck me as a great post for this time of year, when I’m thinking a lot about Shawn. I have a rudimentary, but serviceable understanding of how the internet works. Part of what that means in 2021, is recognizing that at any given time, there is a symphony of equations, code, algorithms, cookies, and probably lots of other…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale walks in woods
    Missing Shawn

    I Am Happy, Like You Wanted

    My school is a place where we celebrate everything. Christmas, Diwali, Passover….you name it. I love that we celebrate all of the many wonderful traditions that students do at home. This year, a teacher from my department decided that we should do a Day of the Dead altar, something from his culture. He invited us all to participate by bringing a framed photo of a dead loved one, as well as an object that person loved. The display was covered in orange flowers and slowly a few photos appeared. After a few days, I decided I wanted to add my own photo, so I went back to my desk to…