• Door of classroom like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    New Perspectives

    Just in Case

    About 15 minutes before the end of my last class of the day, an email was sent out. I saw it pop up on my computer, and I knew: our school was closing too. The students didn’t know yet – they were engaged in a discussion about how the government should best address the outbreak of covid-19 – but I knew that quickly they would know from other students passing by the classroom. “I have to end this early,” I said to them. “We just got word that our school is going to close tomorrow, and I want to make sure I have time to say a few things to…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley in sits in woods with friend
    Things That Suck

    I Can’t Do This Anymore

    You know that feeling you had last week? Or maybe it was yesterday? Or even right now? I’m talking about the feeling that says, “I can’t do this anymore!” I mean, maybe you haven’t had this feeling yet. Maybe you actually like this quarantine. Maybe you have a secure, well-paying job and a stockpile of food and no medical issues and no young children and a big backyard and a partner who is quarantining with you. I mean, there are ways that people could enjoy this time period. But for most people, it sucks. And for many of my friends, last week was when I started hearing people say, “I…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays in fountain with children

    I Wanna Dance With Somebody

    When I was a new widow, one of the things I hated most was ending up on the dance floor alone. It’s not like I’d never danced without Shawn. I mean, I’m a decently confident person, and I never needed him in order to dance at a party or a bar or a wedding. It’s just that I was so used to dancing with him after 15 years together. I dated men before Shawn who didn’t like to dance, so when we met and I realized he had no insecurities about getting out on the dance floor, I happily joined him at any chance I could get. When he was…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley walking with her sons

    Can I Take Out the Trash?

    (I wrote the piece below for an outside publication a few months ago. It didn’t end up running, so I’m publishing it here. Obviously, some of the details are from a time when we could interact with people outside our household.) I’ve been worrying about my boys lately. Not for any specific reason. I mean, they seem fine. They like to play outside and ride their bikes and jump on the neighbor’s trampoline. Tommy is learning to read. Austin is a whiz at math. Neither of my sons cause trouble at school and both boys have solid friendships. But there’s so much that worries me in the years ahead, especially…

  • Groceries like that delivered to DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley
    Family & Friends

    A Genuine Offer, Freely Given, With Gladness

    Okay, here’s a little secret about widowed parenting (or at least my version of widowed parenting): sometimes I leave my kids home alone. I try not to. Claire is old enough to watch her brothers, yes, but Tommy is still little and I don’t want to put such a burden on her. That first summer after Shawn died, I actually looked up what the rules were about leaving kids home alone. My dad was gone and I wanted to be able to run around the block or pop out to get some milk without taking all three of them every single time. I was dismayed to learn that they needed…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley plays with son while sitting in a chair at park
    Things That Suck

    Breaking Point

    Monday was a beautiful day here in Washington, and after a very frustrating session of trying to help Tommy read, I decided that we should spend a little time laying in the hammock. I got in and he sat in my lap. Then he laid his head on my stomach and we swung back and forth and I thought, “this is a bit of perfection.” Austin snapped a photo and when he showed it to me, I thought it was so cute that I sent it to a friend. My friend texted me back something sweet, but then added, “did you see the stay-at-home order?” I immediately went to my…