• Boxes for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley Hale
    Things That Suck

    Widowhood is Stressful. This Survey Proves It.

    It wasn’t until after Shawn died that I realized my hair had been falling out. The bald spots on my head were growing, once again. Because that’s what every newly widowed 38-year-old wants….to be bald! It was like the universe or God or something was just adding yet another “fuck you” to the list of things that could go wrong in my life. Wasn’t it bad enough that my husband had just died? Now I had to contend with a bald spot that was spreading? Stress causes me to lose my hair. (Luckily, it’s mostly in the back of my head, but sometimes the spots can get really big.) This,…

  • Son and partner of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley by harbor

    What Does it Mean to Be a Dad?

    What does it mean to be a dad? It was one of those sweltering days in the summer, the kind where it’s a little hard to breathe, and I sat at a picnic table at a New York state park with Tommy and Claire. About 50 feet away, Austin was lying down on a bench, with Chris by his side. Up until that point, our car trip to Maine had been pretty uneventful. Austin, easy middle child that he is, had offered to sit in the way back so his sister and brother wouldn’t get carsick. He read a book and we didn’t hear from him for almost 5 hours.…

  • Computer and glasses on table like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Things That Suck

    How Am I Actually Going to Do This?

    I keep getting emails from my school (and the kids’ schools and my other educator friends) about the importance of engagement in distance learning and doing better with emotional connections with students and all of the technological advances I need to know about for my classes. It’s all important. I believe in it all, I do. And I am totally overwhelmed by it. I know that most of my teacher friends are overwhelmed. I know that most parents are overwhelmed. I know that working parents are even more stressed and I know that single parents have it the worst. I know that my situation is not unique, and I know…

  • Children of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley lay on couch together
    Things That Suck

    My Babies Are Here With Me

    “Thank God my Dad is almost home,” I texted a friend late Wednesday night. A part of me had been worried that we overreacted when we decided he should leave DC and return to rural Oregon. But then Wednesday night happened, and I was sure that I’d made the right call. No travel to Europe. The NBA suspends its season. Tom Hanks has coronavirus. My phone lit up so many times in the hour after I put my boys to bed, I almost couldn’t process it. I knew I had to remain calm, but nothing about the past 48 hours had felt calm. My school was closed for cleaning and…