• Woman typing at computer for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Parenting

    When Auto-Fill Won’t Cut It

    I’ve filled out so many forms in my life. That’s part of being an adult, I suppose. But the form-filling-out got way more intense when I became a widow. When Shawn died, I seemed to need a new form for every single account I had everywhere. Sure, that made sense at the bank, but it seemed crazy to me that I needed a needed to fill out a new form (declaring my newly widowed status) for the internet company, among many others. But the worst kinds of forms were the ones I didn’t have to totally re-do. The worst kinds of forms were the drop-down menus that I had to…

  • Sons of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Things That Remain: Fear (Part 2 of 4)

    In this four-part series, I discuss the things that remain for me (and for some of my readers) in the years after widowhood. Here’s one of my dark little secrets: Every morning, as I kiss my kids goodbye and watch them leave the house for school, one thought always enters my head: I hope they don’t die. I know – what a morbid thing to think! I don’t know if I ever worried about this before Shawn died, but I know it was a bit of an obsession of mine after he died. I knew I would be broken without my children and even though I tried not to think…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley speaks at event for late husband Shawn
    New Perspectives

    Single Parenting, Not Solo Parenting

    If you’re a widow with young kids, I bet you’ve heard the argument surrounding solo vs. single parenting. But for those of you who don’t know, it’s a debate that’s not just about semantics. Here’s the key question: Are widowed parents “single parents”, or should we use the term “solo parents”? Single parenting, the argument goes, includes many types of people. A single parent might be a divorced parent, who sees their children only half of the time. The term “single parent” is also sometimes used by parents who are alone with their kids for stretches of time (days or weeks or longer) while their partner is working somewhere else.…

  • Children bury Tommy in sand for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    Seven Kisses

    Every night at bedtime, you make me give you six kisses. “Because I’m six!” you say, and you count them up each time. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or if I’m stressed or if I really just need you to get in bed. I have to do those six kisses. Tonight, I’ll give you seven. Because today, my sweet Tommy, you are seven years old. How impossible it was to imagine, all those years ago, that you would be a boy that is thriving? That despite the fact that you lost your dad when you were just three, you’d still find a way to see so much joy in…

  • Tommy's drawing of mom for DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Holidays

    Water and Fire

    The first Thanksgiving we spent without Shawn was really hard. We were with our dear friends Josh and Becky, out on Josh’s family farm, surrounded by people who loved us. But it felt heavy. And I was Just. So. Tired. One of the nights, Tommy woke up at 2 am, crying about something, and I couldn’t comfort him. Eventually, I brought him into my bed where he calmed down, his snotty face resting against my chest. I stayed awake for a long time, thinking about how I was the only person who could comfort him. Yes, there was a whole household of people there who loved him, but there was…

  • Drawing of family by son of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Parenting

    Relationship to Student

    The thing about the start of school is that it’s filled with a million “get to know you” questionnaires and projects. What’s your favorite color? Do you prefer to do math or read a book? What TV shows do you watch? Who is in your family? Oh, yes, there’s always that last one. It’s an important one, and as a teacher, I don’t shy away from it either. It’s vital to understanding more about the student in front of you. And yet, I now know what a bomb it can feel like to answer that question, especially if all of the other kids are making posters with a mom, a…