Mina died three months ago today.

I’ve sat and stared at that sentence for some time now, trying to figure out how to express the passage of that time. It feels like forever, yet it feels like yesterday. I still imagine myself wrapping my arms around her neck and kissing her face, laying next to her on the floor and rubbing her tummy, and feeling her warm tongue licking the tip of my nose. Those imaginings and memories bring tears to my eyes because it hurts so much to be here alone without my Bean.

Everyone knows by now that the National Capital Area is in snowstorm hell. We’ve had three major snowstorms since December 18, and the fourth is coming along right now. I haven’t gone to work in my office since last Thursday, and it could be Friday or Tuesday before I’m able to drive in again. All of this has created a mountain of anxiety on top of my grief over losing Mina and a feeling isolation from the active world. We’re just here, getting by, hoping the power stays one, praying this next storm just grazes us …

All of this could be alleviated for me if Mina were still here with me. I have no joy during winter, I hate being cold (any temperature below 75F is officially cold), but Mina loved it so much that I could tolerate it. I miss the way she gently guided me over icy patches on our walks, stopping and looking up to make sure I was OK; I miss her snow-covered nose and using my bare hands to melt the snow off her paws.

Mina was my reason for getting out of bed on weekends, on bad weather days, when I was sick, when I hadn’t slept well. Her need to be outside, her joy in sniffing absolutely everything, the happy way she greeted the humans and canines she loved was enough to make it all worthwhile.

Mina's happy face, 1997

Now when faced with weekends, holiday weekends, snow days, and just about every Monday since Mina died, I find little reason to get outta bed. I do it because I need to earn a living and, honestly, I like my job; but it’s not easy to find motivation to live a life that’s little more than a shell of what it once was, to find any joy in getting through another day.

What I really want to do today, instead of working from home by myself and waiting for the next foot of fucking snow to fall, is to walk with Mina in a green, sunlit park and watch her long tail curled high and swaying with her bouncy steps. I want to see her face turn towards me and I want to lean down and kiss her nose and tell her what a very good girl she is as we bounce along together.

Mina offleash in a small park, 2005

I think eternity will be filled with Mina and I taking walks together.