Hi. I've been avoiding you.

It's true. I've been avoiding you. You, the blog. You, the reader. I wanted to write you something after the election. I even sketched out a draft. And I had plans to write you at the beginning of the new year to sum up the last 12 months-- my first attempt to earn a (partial) living freelance writing. But by the first week of December the noise of the world and my inner taskmaster receded to the background when my husband and I learned his father was dying. He told us, based on how quickly his health had declined since September, he thought he only had a couple months left. And he was right. He and his doctor agreed to stop the treatment that wasn't working on December 7. By the early morning of February 11, he was gone.

So here we are, a month later, beginning to resurface from grief into life. A dear friend who lost both of her parents warned us, "The grief comes in waves." She described being in the middle of the grocery store when one of them hit. I-- naively, with my brain's literal interpretation-- pictured her on dry land, standing between shelves of food when a wave drenched her. I didn't realize it would feel like being submerged in water all the time, the world around us muffled and unstill. Having become accustomed to swimming, we're still trying to remember how to walk. And me, to write. I have many more words to devote to my father-in-law, my husband, and this experience. But for now, I'm just breaking the surface.