• Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    They Were So Little

    I love Facebook memories. I know lots of widows hate them, because it reminds them of what they’ve lost. But most of my memories are of my children, which I think makes it easier from a grief standpoint. They’re often photographs or videos that Shawn took and they remind me what he found hilarious or adorable about the kids. When we were first parents, we were debating with some other parents about whether it was okay to put your kids’ images online. “I think being able to document their young lives is actually pretty cool,” Shawn said. “I mean, think about it. They’re going to have this great record of…

  • Glass of beer for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    What Kind of Beer Do I Like?

    Shawn loved beer. He always claimed it was a Canadian thing. “We drink beer!” he’d say when I asked him about why he was requesting a Coors Light at an afternoon barbecue. I got him interested in the Oregon wine my dad shipped us every year, and every once in a blue moon, he’d order a mixed drink at a bar. But really, Shawn loved beer. His tastes were not high brow. He mostly liked cheap beer (see aforementioned Coors Light) and other light beers. One of his favorite beers was a shandy, which is basically beer mixed with lemonade. On the first nice day of spring, he’d go to…

  • Son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley looks under vanity with flashlight
    New Perspectives

    The Earring

    I heard the clink of the earring on the tile before I even realized I had dropped it. I looked down at the blank floor. “Damn!” I said (under my breath because I’m trying to swear less frequently in front of my kids). I bent down and tried to look under the bathroom vanity. Clearly, the earring had fallen down into the crack under it. I couldn’t see much, so I went into the boys’ room to get a flashlight. Austin was reading a book. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “I dropped my diamond earring somewhere in the bathroom,” I said. “I need your flashlight to try and find it.” He…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley sitting next to boyfriend

    What Does It Take to Date a Widow?

    As I write this, my partner Chris is sitting across the kitchen island, typing something on his computer. He’s focused on what he is doing, so I can take a minute to look at him. He’s got a scruffy face, the kind of stubble that’s sexy on men like him, and he’s wearing a Ruth Bader Ginsburg t-shirt, which makes him even more attractive to me. He is not smiling right now, because he is working, but I can see the softness that’s always in his eyes. It’s a softness I know because he looks at me with those eyes all the time. Just behind him is a photo of…

  • Bus at sunset for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck


    About two months after Shawn and I started dating, we went to Vietnam for a week. I know this may sound like major excursion, but we were living in Japan, and Vietnam was just a few hours away by plane. We made a plan to start in the south and take the train north. We had no hotel reservations or timeline of events, except that our plane flew into Ho Chi Minh City on a Saturday and out of Hanoi a week later. It was the type of plan I often made in my early 20s, which consisted of, “I’m sure it will be fine.” We spent a great first…

  • Beach with hearts for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Missing Shawn

    Who Would You Love More?

    A few weeks ago, as I was chopping vegetables, Claire came into the kitchen and started talking to me. We chatted for a while about our lives, including when my boyfriend Chris was going to come back to stay with us again. “He’s back home for another week,” I told her, “but then he will be here for a long stretch. He’s really excited to see us again.” She smiled, did a little hop and said “yay!” It was quiet for a moment as she looked at me to see what I’d say next. As I sat in that space, I could feel her thinking. I waited. “Mama,” she said…