After Loss, Living Life ‘More Ferociously’ Together

Mr. Gordon was also considering the future. “It became clear that there was another fork in the road,” he said. The question was to go on “half living together” or taking the leap into a deeper level of commitment.

On July 2, 2022, Mr. Gordon asked Ms. Brooke to marry him. “I think he was surprised he asked and surprised I said yes,” she said. ‌

“If you’ve had a happy marriage,” Mr. Gordon said, “and you lose your partner, the loss is of that person, but it’s also of being a couple, being part of a living love and I felt it very, very keenly. The example of Maggi looking at life full in the face and knowing what would happen led me to value life more highly.”

“We both know that you only have today,” Ms. Brooke said. “I think that made us both want to live life more ferociously.”

Soon after, the couple walked into a jewelry store and picked out an engagement ring. Mr. Gordon walked into a tailor’s and asked for a suit in “The Economist’s red,” a color he’d been drawn to ever since he was a journalist for — and then the chief executive of — the publication with an iconic red logo. Ms. Brooke, who will be taking her husband’s name and living with him in Sierra Madre, Calif., chose a white pantsuit and red pumps.

On Jan. 3, the Rev. Kay Lynn Northcutt, a minister for the Disciples of Christ church and Ms. Brooke’s friend since they were teenagers, officiated a secular ceremony in the courtyard at Sparrows Lodge, a hotel in Palm Springs, Calif.

She offered a moment to remember loved ones not present. During the reception, also in the courtyard, the couple toasted to their former spouses. Children and grandchildren from both sides “got along like a house on fire,” Ms. Brooke said, calling themselves the Grookes and the Bordons and dancing all night. “The young people really pulled us along in their wake.”