You lose so much more than you at first realize when you lose your life partner/beloved/soul mate. I’m realizing every day how much I lost when Mina died.

Last night I had one whopper of a nightmare. Someone was in our apartment, intent on killing me. A dark figure appeared in my bedroom doorway and, as I reached under the pillow next to me for my gun, grabbed my throat. That’s when I woke up, thankfully. I was breathing rapidly and felt cold. I switched on a light, checked the apartment, then did something I haven’t done in more than two years – closed and locked my bedroom and bathroom doors (they’re connected).

What I really wanted to do was call for Mina and have her come up on the bed and stay with me until I fell asleep again, as she did for so many years. When, in 2007, Mina moved out of our bedroom and into the living room, I would go and find her after a bad dream and lay down beside her until I felt safe again. Even in her last, dying days with me, knowing that Mina was asleep in the living room or in front of the door made me feel safer. I knew she’d alert me to anything unusual because she’s done it in the past. Mina kept me safe, she made me feel secure.

That’s all gone now. We live in a pretty safe neighborhood, as evidenced when I left my keys in the door all night recently, but the feeling of being truly alone without Mina nearby is overwhelming and affects me even when I’m sleeping.

Another thing that I’d thought I’d lost is the scent of Mina about our apartment. On a daily basis I can’t smell her any longer, but when I returned from my road trip and walked in the door it was as if she was still with me. I was delighted! It immediately brought back all the times I’ve buried my face in her neck and hugged her and kissed the side of her sweet face.

I still feel as if I’ve lost my way, lost my guide through life. I’m currently planning a trip to New Orleans after a five-year absence from the place that has always spoken to my soul. It’s oddly difficult to make these plans without this feeling that I have to consider Mina, too. I suppose it’s going to take a very long time to get over the habits of caring for my beloved for 13 years.

Mina Bean, my Mina Bean, please come visit me