• snow shoveling for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    From the Archives

    From the Archives: The Mindfulness and Grief Therapy Session

    I spent a lot of the first half of 2018 looking for something to ease the strain in my chest, a pain that was obviously due to my mental state and yet also had a physical component. One night, I had my dad listen to my heart with his stethoscope, because it felt so out-of-whack. “You’re okay,” my dad said, though I knew he was only talking about my pulse and not the emotion that had caused me to wake him up so he could reassure me that I wasn’t having a heart attack. If I could have just taken a pill and made the pain dissolve, I would have…

  • lights for engagement for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    The Glamorous Cabal of Widows

    We’d been singing Christmas carols for an hour, and I’d just been shot down by this cute guy across the room who I had hit on. He had a girlfriend, I reported back to my friends. “Boo!” they said, clinking glasses with me, before someone said, “but I think we should go meet the performer!” We were sitting in a furniture store at the beginning of December, in that long-ago time of 2019 when people regularly gathered indoors, and we ran over to catch the performer to say hello. He was dressed in a long white fur coat with rhinestones and a white feather hat to match. “Hi ladies!” he…

  • Blurred therapist office for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Therapy and Grief

    Back in the early days of this blog, I spent a lot of time talking about therapy – therapy from my friends, therapy at my church, therapy with my widow friends, alternative therapies, and the therapy that I liked the best. Therapy was just a part of my life. But it wasn’t always effective. In fact, a lot of times when I went to traditional therapy – i.e. one-on-one therapy with a licensed professional – I left feeling….like it just didn’t do much for me. Maybe this is why I saw like 8 or 9 (or more?) therapists in the first year and a half after Shawn died. Or maybe…

  • Family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    The Danger of the Fast-Forward Button

    About two and a half years ago, as I sat with the early grief of losing Shawn, I wrote a blog post called “Press Fast-Forward.” In it, I talked about how I wished I could just fast-forward my life to a better place. Here’s a bit of what I wrote: My ability to hold other people’s pain and frustration is significantly less than it once was. I want to feel for other people, but I just can’t. I guess this is because I can barely hold my own emotions throughout the day. Grief has made me into a more selfish person – a person who is more likely to reach…

  • Steaming coffee as described in post by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: How Do I Meet Other Young Widows?

    About once a week, I get a message that goes something like this: My husband died six months ago, and now I’m a 35-year-old widow. I’ve gotten to the point where the grief is somewhat manageable, but my problem now is that I feel so isolated. My friends want to help, but they just can’t understand what it’s like to be me. I’ve tried going to spousal loss groups, but everyone is twice my age. How can I find a group of young widows in my area? For a long time, my replies to these emails were always the same: “I have no real answers for you. I found people…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley laughing in black and white
    New Perspectives

    You Are Alone. Accept That. Carry On. (Part 2)

    December has been hard, in a lot of ways. It’s the month when I re-live every painful moment in the hospital with Shawn, it’s the month when I’m supposed to be happy but sometimes just can’t be, and it’s the month when I remember that yes, it all really happened. This life I’m living is really true, not just some terrible nightmare. I was running the other day with my friend Purva, because we are not deterred by freezing temperatures and darkness, and she asked me how I was feeling about my life. I’d just finished telling her about a guy I liked who had recently told me he didn’t…