I think that’s the title of a movie, that I’ve never seen, and it seems to fit my life at present.

I left normal the moment that Mina died in the wee hours of Monday, November 9, 2009. I didn’t realize it then, but my entire life changed, save for a few physical remnants such as our home, our car, my job. I feel like everything in the entire world is different now, and I don’t like most of it and I’m perplexed by some of it.

Mostly, I still don’t feel focused on the things I used to take very seriously. The weather here in Virginia has prevented me from helping at the sanctuary since my birthday, January 24. I get all these opportunities in my e-mail inbox to socialize with other vegans, help leaflet at Metro stations, etc., but I’ve only acted on one. My other blog, Please Do Not Tap On the Glass, sits dormant. Oh, I could post a bunch of canned stuff but I don’t feel up to writing my opinions on the various issues that blog addressed. What to do with it?

It’s as if I’ve lost my rudder or my map, or something to guide me on a purposeful path. I lost Mina to a fucking horrible disease that she fought so bravely and I’m still pissed off about it. So, I come home instead of doing something meaningful and I’ve taken to spoiling myself in ridiculous ways. I go to movies on occasion, arranging vacations, buying things just for myself, etc.; all things I don’t normally do. It feels decadent and wrong, in a way.

Mina, pet of the month, enjoying her spoils, 2008

That’s guilt, and I’ve got a fair amount of it. I know it’s typical when one has suffered a huge personal loss and it’s hard to fight off.

There are other, less important things that have changed, too. It seems that many things I enjoyed before Mina died have become unbearable. I haven’t listened to any music I bought before her death – not even my beloved Nine Inch Nails (if you know me, then you know how devoted I am to Trent’s main project). I’ve taken to listening to a lot of swamp rock and Southern rock and some country and bluegrass. I know, it’s definitely weird but I quite like it, apparently.

I still can’t watch old movies like I used to watch. I had an Audrey Hepburn thriller on the coffee table for three weeks before sending it back to Netflix, unwatched.

It seems odd that I cling to bits of my life with Mina such as my routine of coming right home after work, yet I’ve clearly rejected many things that I once enjoyed. I don’t know what any of it means, I’m just going with it because grief is a process that, if denied, comes back to haunt you later and I don’t want that.

So, normal is all new now and I’m trying to adjust, with various degrees of success. I know most people think that three months is long enough to mourn a canine, but to me the wound is still bleeding.

Mina, my Mina … I miss every single thing about you …