• Marjorie and friend in photo book for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    I Know You’re Ready When You Tell Me You’re Ready

    It’s been almost three years since I sat down with my dear friend Kristin, looked her in the eyes and said something I was terrified to say: “I think I’m ready to start dating again.” It felt like a confession. It was the end of the summer of 2018, and I’d had a very brief encounter with a man (you can read about that here) which left me feeling changed. For the first time since Shawn died, I desired men. I wanted to be around them, and I knew I didn’t want to remain celibate anymore. Shawn had only been gone for about 7 months at that point. I hadn’t…

  • Groceries like that delivered to DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    A Genuine Offer, Freely Given, With Gladness

    Okay, here’s a little secret about widowed parenting (or at least my version of widowed parenting): sometimes I leave my kids home alone. I try not to. Claire is old enough to watch her brothers, yes, but Tommy is still little and I don’t want to put such a burden on her. That first summer after Shawn died, I actually looked up what the rules were about leaving kids home alone. My dad was gone and I wanted to be able to run around the block or pop out to get some milk without taking all three of them every single time. I was dismayed to learn that they needed…

  • 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…

  • Picture of a drill to illustrate what DC widow Marjorie is trying to learn about repairing things in her house
    Things That Suck

    Not My Domain

    Shit just keeps breaking. For real – I cannot keep up with everything that’s broken in my house. The toilet paper dispenser in the downstairs bathroom has been ripped out of the drywall, the handle to the refrigerator is so loose I can barely close it and the back door has a doorknob that routinely falls off. My solution over the past year has been to ignore these problems. To be fair, this was what I did when Shawn was alive. The only difference was that he would actually fix things that were broken. Usually, I didn’t even have to ask. Shawn was handy. I didn’t grow up with a…

  • Image of car tires to represent the flat time of DC widow Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    I Might As Well Get Cheaper Tires If My Husband Has to Be Dead

    I heard the hissing immediately. What the hell was happening? I hopped out of the car, and looked down. A woman walking her dog stopped. “It’s your tire,” she said. “It’s not good.” She wasn’t kidding. There was a 2-inch slit in my tire and it was completely flat. “Shit, shit, shit!” I said, staring at the tire. Austin’s baseball game was starting in 5 minutes. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a 2-hour second grade baseball game with a 4-year-old in tow, but at least it gave me time. I walked up to the game. “My tire is flat,” I told the parents who had assembled for the game.…

  • Marjorie Brimley and children with Shawn's guitar after his death
    Missing Shawn

    Family photos

    The night before we took family photos this year, I picked up Shawn’s guitar and put it by the front door. I didn’t want to forget it. I’d already laid out the kids’ clothes and made sure we looked somewhat pulled together. But I felt like something was missing, so I went down and sat in Shawn’s recliner and thought about how I wanted to take family photos this year. We’re a family of four now, but we were always a party of five. Could I even take “family” photos if a critical member of our family was missing? How would I pose with the kids? How would we manage…