My whippet and I went for a walk in the snow this afternoon. Both of us are coastal born and raised, so this white stuff is both a treat and a hardship. A treat because, well, *look* at it. It's beautiful!*
A hardship because we're not fully prepared with proper boots – my wool socks are drying as I type and she did a bit of feet cleanup upon our return. After she has dinner, I'll check 'em over and see what kind of damage she incurred. And give her an anti-inflammatory. I'm going to have one, too.
The intensity of this past week's storm snuck up on all of us. Over the day it hit, I watched the forecast increase from 5 inches of snow to 8" and then 11 or 12" or something like that. I stopped checking because the electricity went out and I wanted to save my cell phone battery in case things turned bad. And, frankly, all of this has taken so much energy that I'm forgetting some of the details. Just like coping with someone's impending death or grieving that they aren't available the way they were when they were in their body.
And, just as with coping and grief, the snow just kept on coming. There were moments of beauty – kind of like when we think of the one we love and cherish the times we've had together. Then the reality hits: How cold will it get here if I don't have electricity? How long will I be crying over my animal companion (or human)? How can I *do* this?!
Now, the snow is taking forever to melt. Just like it feels when we're caring for aging, injured, or ailing animal companion (or human). Just like our grief feels.
When the snow won't stop and you don't know *how* you will make it through, you've got to trust that it will. You've got to lean on those who will help you. You've got to figure out how to get your needs met, ask for help, *and* be willing to receive help.
And then, as the snow melts, find a way to enjoy a walk in it, if only for a short while. Those times will get longer as the snow melts and the trail becomes easier. I promise.
If you're caught in an unexpected storm, or one that's unexpectedly fierce, remember to trust that it won't last forever. Lean on those who will help. Figure out how to get your needs met. Ask for help. And be willing to receive help.
Count me as one of those who can help you. I may not be your best guide through a snowstorm, but I'm an excellent guide through facing death and through grieving a death or other loss.
(ETA: not in this photo, but in the country, away from the roads.)