• 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…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with children on bridge
    Ask A Widow

    Ask a Widow: Could My Date Be a Father to My Kids?

    I got a note from a reader the other day that made me pause. Yes, I get a number of public comments and private notes, and I’m used to answering them. But this one, from a fellow young widow, really made me think: I know my husband would want me to find love again. He wouldn’t want me to spend the next 40-50 years alone (I’m a young widow). It’s only been 7.5 months. I’m not anywhere near ready to let someone else in. The thought of it just upsets me. But, I think it’s a possibility in the future. However, what I really struggle with is potentially letting a…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley with daughter Claire in waterfall
    New Perspectives

    Letter to Myself: 6 Months (part 2 of 3)

    (In this series, I write letters to myself at three different time periods: 1 month after Shawn died, 6 months after Shawn died, and a year after Shawn died. This is what I wish I could have known.) Me again. Well, here you are: the 6-month mark. You’ve made it past that terrible, terrible time between month 4 and month 6. Those two months were when the reality of losing Shawn hit and you couldn’t bear the days without him. You kept going. You got through it. You got here. But what is here? What is the future? What are you supposed to do now? It’s the not-knowing that’s so…