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

    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…

  • 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,…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley laughs with friends
    New Perspectives

    How to Host a Crappy Zoom Call

    I hate Zoom. I mean, I also love it, of course. For many months I spent all day on Zoom talking to students and I can now use it with some ease to facilitate discussions and give lectures. That part is great. What I hate about it is that it’s pretty much the only way to connect with my friends right now. Sure, I could use FaceTime or Houseparty or whatever, but it’s all the same. It’s me looking at my friends via a screen. It just feels so….contrived. There I am, alone in my kitchen staring at my phone with one or more of my friend’s faces staring back…

  • Cups like those in kitchen of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Put Your Dishes in the Dishwasher

    I have a sign in my kitchen with our three house rules. They are rules that I borrowed from my aunt Nancy (aka “Nana”), ones that all of the grandkids know they must follow when they are at her house: Put your dishes in the dishwasher No crying unless there’s blood If you want something, get it yourself I mean, these are pretty solid rules. Clean up your own stuff. Don’t whine about things that aren’t a big deal. Try and solve your own problems. Sure, maybe there could be one about behaving compassionately, but I guess Nana assumed good intent towards others. Or maybe there could be one about…