Two nights ago, the snow started to fall. Yesterday afternoon it came down in earnest, and as we enjoyed our dinner at our friends’ house, the snow continued to sprinkle the ground, covering our car windows, our walkways, glistening and sparkling, and transforming our hilly Flin Flon roads into slick, scary rollercoasters.
When we got home, I noticed that our little grave site for Soon dae had been covered completely by the day’s snowfall. The mason jar full of flowers from my dad had transformed into an abstract sculpture in white, and one bright light shone under the snow, a gift from a coworker when Soon dae passed away so suddenly six weeks ago.
This will be our first winter in six years without our beloved furry companion. Soon dae, born in South Korea where winters are mild, took to Canadian winter like the proverbial duck to water. She loved the snow, and never seemed to mind the -20, -30, and even -40 days that we face here. While we layered on the neckwarmers, fleece-lined pants, and parkas, she practically leapt out the door each morning, snuffling at the snow and gobbling up big gulps of the white stuff.
We (okay, I) may have grumbled about our three-times-daily walks on those frigid January days, but seeing Soon dae’s joy when we walked out the door always made the effort worthwhile. Plus she looked pretty darn cute in her dog parka.
As we get used to the idea of being dog-less, and the intensity of grief subsides, memories of Soon dae come back when I least expect it. As I surveyed the blanket of snow this morning, the recollection of a wet black nose, a soft, furry coat, and a rapidly wagging tail came back to me in a flash. Will I always miss her when the first snow falls?
I guess, with time, I will get over it, I won’t feel sad anymore, and I will begin to forget her.
The question is: do I want to?