Girl writing blog on computer for DC widow Marjorie Brimley Hale

Thanks on Thanksgiving

I’m going to let you in on a secret.

I’ve decided that it’s time to end the blog.

Don’t worry – I’m not stopping right now! At this point, I don’t know exactly how I’m going to stop writing this blog. But for the past few months, I’ve been wrestling with whether it makes sense anymore for me to write about widowhood. The early, intense months of widowhood are now in the past for me, and even the big changes that occurred over the past 4 1/2 years – living with my dad, raising kids as a single mom, dating, falling in love, the pandemic, getting married and having Chris adopt the kids, moving to Colombia – even those big changes are mostly over for me. (Yes, I’m still living in Colombia, but life here has luckily gotten a lot more normal than it was in the first few months.)

In any case, it’s likely that I’m going to end this blog at some point in 2023. Before I decided to tell all of you in this post, I told my kids.

“What?!” Claire said, her eyes wide. Austin had the same look on his face. “Really?” he asked, as though he didn’t believe me.

I explained a bit more to them, but they remained shocked. They haven’t read much of the blog and they care little about what I write, but they know this:

The blog has been a lifeline for me.

I can’t count how many times they came to my room and sat on my bed as I wrote, especially in that first year of widowhood. I don’t remember how often I was upset and told them I “needed a little time to write” and then emerged from my room an hour later with a degree of calm. I don’t know how many times I realized one of them was watching me as I wrote, thinking who-knows-what but somehow understanding that my writing was what I needed to do at that moment.

They know the blog is important to me. But more than that, they know that writing has let me express my emotions – big, adult emotions that they can’t fully grasp, even now – and that somehow they seem to understand that by writing, I can be a (somewhat) more patient, more content, and yes, happier mom.

They now know that a number of other people read this blog – some who are young widows and some who are not. They know that people know about their lives. When Claire found out I have a few thousand followers on Facebook, she freaked out and said, “You’re famous mom! You should tell them all to follow me on TikTok!” (Um, no.) I realize my blog doesn’t have a million readers, but still, it’s much more than I ever anticipated.

I likely would have kept writing the blog in those early days even if the only person who read it was my Aunt Terry. I needed to write and I needed to process what had happened (and was happening) to me. I needed to remember Shawn. I needed to remember us.

But slowly, over a number of months, I realized that by writing about my misery, not only did I feel better, but other people who read my blog sometimes felt better. Young widows felt seen, I think, and for some reason whatever it was I was writing about struck a nerve in a number of people. I was happy people were reading what I was writing because it meant that I was somehow making meaning out of the terrible experience I was going through.

It felt good to be heard.

I loved when my writing was read thousands of times, especially when I felt really alone. I loved the comments I got and the private emails even more. I loved hearing that I wasn’t alone, that other people were cheering for me and that many people – some who I didn’t even know – believed in me. It gave me permission to believe that things could get better for me.

And so, on Thanksgiving, I want to say thank you. Thank you to those of you who have read my blog for years and thank you to those of you who have just started. Thank you for everyone who encouraged me to keep writing. Much more than any therapist or exercise program or self-help book, it was writing that helped me to heal.

And for that, I am so grateful.


  • Jaime

    Thank YOU, Marjorie. I lost my husband at 39, and it’s been almost 6 years. I have a young son (almost 7 now!), and I have found so much solace reading your blog. As I fell in love again, I’ve loved having your blog to see someone else navigating all the emotions of love and life after lost. It’s a crappy club to be a part of, but I’m thankful for people like you who have made your life public and helped us all along the way and made us feel just a little less alone. Xo

    • M Brimley

      Oh, thank you for this sweet comment! It’s all that I really want at this point – for those who read my blog to get something (and I know there are a lot of kinds of “something”) out of my blog. I really appreciate you sharing this with me.

  • Jean Bender

    I have been deeply touched by your blog, it was like you were in my head some days. I can’t thank you enough for writing about your experience. I will miss you, but I do understand that the time has come.

    • Christina

      Thank you for writing this blog. I’ve been a widow for 3 1/2 years now. Your blog really helped me the first year as I couldn’t find anything or anyone else who could relate to what I was going through as a young widow. I’m happy for you that you are ready to move on, but was so grateful for your words.

      • Ruchira

        Thank you Margorie.My husbands death a year ago broke me and made me so completely lonely and isolated,and your blog made me feel so much hope.
        Your writing has been my lifeline at tough times and as Dec 4th approaches I’m going to be rereading some of your earliest blogs.Writing has been my lifeline too:)

        • M Brimley

          I’m so sorry for your loss and that you’re almost at the year mark – that was a hard one for me. Hang in there. I am glad my earliest blogs could be helpful – they certainly were raw. I’m glad they’ve been helpful for you.

      • M Brimley

        I’m so glad the blog could be helpful – especially in those first year. That was the hardest for me as well and I just wanted someone – anyone – who I felt could “get” me.

    • M Brimley

      Thank you! And I’m not sure when I’ll end the blog, so I’ve got at least a couple more months. Now I just have to figure out how to do it!

  • Sara Rodriguez- Story

    Dear Marjorie,

    I think I have read your blog since the beginning, after I saw an article you had written in the Washington Post. I am not a widow, but I found so much in your writing that resonated with me in other ways. I feel like I followed along on your journey, and was so happy when you found love again and remarried. I was also very intrigued to read about your move to Colombia with your husband and kids. My husband and son and I moved to Peru for a year when I was pregnant with our younger son. Even though I amfluent in Spanish, and had spent time in Peru previously because my husband is from there, it was still not an easy transition.. It sounds like your re-location was difficult, but I so admire and support your decision to do this. I think it will be something that you, your husband and kids look back on their whole lives, and realize how incredibly life changing it can be to live in another culture albeit with its challenges and frustrations. Anyway, all that to say that I am sorry to hear you’re ending your blog, but completely understand and support your decision. If you post occasionally about your life in Colombia, I hope I can follow along in some way. All the best to you and your family as you figure out this next stage of life!

    • M Brimley

      Thanks! And yes, it’s been QUITE the transition down here, but even after just 4 months here, we can really see how incredible it’s been for all of us as a family. I truly appreciate you reading and passing along such a kind note.

  • Mary Azoy

    As a retired psychotherapist (& former Arlington resident), I have admired and enjoyed your blog more than I can say. In helping yourself by writing about your path through unimaginable loss, you’ve also helped thousands of others – both directly and indirectly – to negotiate their own difficult journeys. Thank you so much.❤️

    • Sue

      I’ve been a widow for a little over a year. Your blog was immensely helpful to me even though I’m sixty five years old. You could put into words exactly what I was feeling. Your spirit and strength reminded me of myself at your age. On this Thanksgiving, I want to thank you for all you have done for other widows. Your writing has helped more people than you could imagine. We will all miss you.

      • M Brimley

        Thank you! I am so glad that my writing can mean something across different demographics. It means a lot to me to hear this from you!

    • M Brimley

      Wow – thank you so much for this note! I am so glad that my random musings (and they were often random – at one point I wrote a rant about something I read about asparagus curing cancer) and me putting my heart out there could be helpful to others. Thanks for reading!

  • Sam Tancref

    Thank you for writing this blog
    To find someone who got it was so important to me especially in the early part of widowhood
    It’s helped me and touched me as I know it has many many others
    I get that it’s time to finish this I wish you all the happiest in ur new life
    With love Sam

    • M Brimley

      Thank you! I remember you sharing with me early on in my writing, and I really appreciate that you’ve kept reading and gotten something out of the blog. I’m not quite done yet!

  • Nikki G

    Your blog got me through a lot of really tough nights. Sometimes just knowing that we’re not alone is the only comfort we can stomach. I think it was incredibly brave of you to put it out there. Thank you. ❤️

    • M Brimley

      Thank you for sharing this! I know what you mean – sometimes I’d scroll my own comments just to read what other people would write, and it would make me feel less alone. Thanks for reading.

  • Liz L

    Thank you for writing this blog. It’s been a little over 3 years since I lost husband and some days your blog was the only thing that kept me sane and less lonely in this journey. I’m a little older than you but still “young” compared to other widows and it was so helpful having a younger perspective! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for “being there”. I appreciate it more than you will ever know.

    • M Brimley

      And – honestly – I appreciate you reading my blog more than you’ll ever know. Really. I am so glad my blog could help you feel less alone.

    • M Brimley

      That would be a great future post! I am not ending quite yet, but I know my time is coming to an end with writing this blog. But thank you for such a sweet sentiment!

  • Mayura Vuchuru

    Your blogs show resilience, patience, family love, loyal friends and other positive things in life inspite of the background of grief. Thank you for being a positive influence.

    • M Brimley

      Thank you for sharing this. It’s part of who I am, I think – a person who has great optimism about the world. That was broken for a long while after I was widowed, but when I look back at old posts, I realize that that specific part of me was still in there, somewhere.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Anna K Fowler

    Dear Marjorie,

    I first started following your blog late one night, just over two and a half years ago. My 36 year old husband had just been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I was terrified and needed to know it was possible for me to survive his death and maybe, just maybe be able to live again one day. Over here in the UK, such reassurance was hard to find, but I went back to the beginning and read every post and I told my husband about your blog and how much hope it gave me.

    My husband died last week, aged 39. Although we’d had two and a half years to prepare it was still sudden and shocking and devastating. Many times over the years he instructed me that after his death he wanted me to be happy and to live my life. I hope one day I will and, if I do, it will be partly thanks to you. Thank you for this blog and good luck to you and your family in the future.

    With thanks,


    • M Brimley


      I’m so, so sorry to hear about the death of your husband. Of course it’s a terrible shock and completely devastating, even if you thought you were prepared. My heart goes out to you.

      I want you to know that I got this comment as I was working on the blog, and I read it to my husband and it made me cry. It means so much to me that my writing can be meaningful for other people. I wrote to heal myself, initially, and I never imagined it could really be beneficial to anyone else. I’m so glad it could be healing.

      The early time period of widowhood is so hard. But there is light out there, even if it’s impossible to see right now.

      With love, Marjorie