• School supplies for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley

    School and Single Parenting

    Every single parent I know is obsessed with what’s going to happen in September. Will schools fully open? Will we have to continue to home school our children? Will we do some sort of hybrid model? There are so many questions and no good solutions. Consequently, everyone is freaking out. I was talking to an acquaintance the other day and we were lamenting what the fall might look like. She and her partner are able to work remotely, but noted that without school, she gets very little done. I commiserated with her, because I get it. But do you know what I was thinking? It may be bad for you,…

  • Students throw caps in air during graduation like that during speech by DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Congrats, Graduates of 2020

    Welcome families, friends, teachers, and graduates.  To the class of 2020: thank you for inviting me to speak.  I’m so lucky to be here. Wait – actually, that was the start of last year’s speech, the one where you picked me to be your faculty speaker. This year, you didn’t pick me, but you didn’t pick anyone else either, since the graduation ceremony itself has been pushed back. We can’t even say for certain that it will happen this year. For the first time in many years, I will not watch a group of seniors – kids I’ve loved throughout their high school careers – walk across the graduation stage…

  • Claire, daughter of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley, plays guitar
    Family & Friends

    5th Grade Graduation

    Today is your last day of 5th grade. When you were just 5 years old, you held the hands of both of your parents as you stood on the big field, waiting for the first day of kindergarten. It was loud and filled with hundreds of people and you were uncharacteristically quiet. Your eyes were big and you squeezed my hand. I squeezed it back three times to say, “I love you” in our secret code. When it was time for the adults to leave, you clung to me and to your father. You cried and screamed for us, and in the end, your teacher had to hold you while…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley looks at husband Shawn from bed
    Things That Suck

    Hard Things Are Hard

    It had been a really hard week at my school. An incident had shocked my students and made them fearful and frustrated. I stood in the back of the auditorium, listening to our head of school talk to the students. I sighed. I was about a year into widowhood and everything seemed hard. I didn’t need anything else on my plate. The head of school talked about the importance of holding space for each other and reaching out to teachers if students needed more support. The kids were listening, but it wasn’t an easy talk. At one point, our head of school paused his speech. I think he was attempting…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley teaches students remotely surrounded by her kids

    This Is Not a Referendum

    I cannot do 5th grade math. I’m not saying this to be dramatic. I simply don’t understand it. I never have, so the role of helping Claire with her math homework fell to my dad when he was here. But now that he’s gone, she just has me. And now that school has been cancelled, I’m her teacher as well as her mom. You’d think I would do okay with this new role. I mean, I am a teacher, so home school should be easy for me, right? Wrong. First of all, I don’t teach elementary school and I never have. So my content knowledge of things like 3rd grade…

  • 2 photos of the family of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Another Year Without My Mom

    Every year since I was 19, I’ve dreaded August 26th, as it’s the anniversary of my mom’s death. When my dad called to tell me she had died by suicide, I sank to the floor, unable to do anything but scream “tell me you are lying!” It was 1998 and I was just about ready to start my Sophomore year of college. I had my whole life ahead of me, and in that moment, everything changed. So when I looked at the calendar this year, I couldn’t believe what I saw. August 26th was going to fall on the first day of school. Okay, great, I thought. So this meant…