Tuesday with Ana: What I’ve learned from grief

As I sit in a café, watching the rain come down and listening to slightly pulsing mood music, the chatter of friends washes over me. I sent them away after a morning of conversation, intending to do some writing. Instead, I prop my chin in my hand and become mesmerized by each raindrop pooling into circles on the water-darkened pavement.

How long as it been since we heard the news Bas is no longer with us? When was the last time I contacted my family and heard, matter-of-factly, that the newest baby was eating cereal for the first time? When did Jim and Christina play hide-and-seek with their Emily, exhausted with life’s duties but still finding a way to relish loved ones?

So much has changed in the span of a few days and weeks, and so much seems hard to believe. A plane crashed a few days ago, bringing to an end two lives and wounding dozens of others. A father said he waited five hours in what amounted to a makeshift holding cell at the airport, demanding from authorities to receive a diaper for his infant child. The passengers were not allowed to leave until they were investigated by the FBI.

Every time I get into my car, I pray that I will make it to my destination alive and unharmed. Each time I send a loved one onto an airplane, I wonder whether I will see him or her again. Each time I put a child to bed, I wonder whether morning will bring tears or joy.

We can’t live a life of fear, but neither can we take for granted what might never come again.

For a few reasons, I may or may not have internet access in the next few weeks. Ordinarily I might protest at the lack of access. I need to answer emails. I need to be accountable for work. I need to…or at least I thought I did.

In the past few days, I’ve taken some time to remain quiet. Thoughtful. Meditative.

And realized that the daily busywork is not what matters most to me now.

In order to write, in order draw strength from my soul, and in order to return to a life forever changed, the heart tells me some time away from the internet may be a good thing. A retreat of sorts.

I will miss you, but I will return with completed manuscripts of Daughter of Discipline (Vennie 2), “Complicated Gifts” (working title for the short-story sequel to Simple Gifts), and perhaps a story for a not-yet-public project. Let’s just say that if you have wanted more romance from the Ana Vitsky establishment, you will get it. 🙂

And, finally, perhaps I will return with snippets for the as-of-yet-untitled Kat 3. I can’t wait to write about the baby. It’s like a giant candy bar dangling just out of reach, waiting for me to finish my other writing projects first.

As I am finishing the latest writing projects, I remember the words of Bas who always urged me to stay true to my voice.

I think it is part of your job to lift the general picture of the female dominant above the level of the short black leather skirts, the leather bras and the sharp high heels, whose only purpose is to get the sub to sexually serve her. That picture is both threatening and sexual. Both in F/F as in F/M settings.

We have only very few portraits of a female dominant in ordinary day to day life who cares for the sub and tries to lead the sub, as we do have with many male dominants.

I wish you luck with this job, it won’t be easy.

I miss Bas. I wonder if my cousin’s baby will ever get better or if celebrating the tiny victories (extubation–hold breath–has gone well for 24 hours) is a fool’s way of refusing to accept the truth. If tragedy, once struck, finds an easier path to visit again. I think of the adult children of my mom’s dear friend, left to navigate funerals and burial plots decades before anyone should have to think about those things.

But at the end of the day, I hold Bas’ words close to my heart. He told me once, when he hated a story I had written, that what I wrote was about real people. That he didn’t care what the pairing was, as long as I wrote about real people he could care about.

Grief can be an isolating, lonely event. Who am I kidding? Of course it is an isolating, lonely event. But in spite of the inevitable solitude that comes with pain, we also find community in gathering together those who hold us in their hearts.

If Bas were here, he would be impatient with the tears. As he told PK, if all we can do is remember him while crying, he’d rather us not remember him at all. So, for Bas, I will write what is true to myself…and remember him with smiles. With love.

(Note: Because internet may be unpredictable, please understand if there are no posts or responses to emails, etc. in the next little while. It may be that my internet understands I need this time. We all do.)


9 thoughts on “Tuesday with Ana: What I’ve learned from grief

  1. joeyred51 says:


    It is good to cry, grief is a part of being human. it cleanses our souls. Someday, you will look back at the many “conversations” you had with Bas and smile. And, you will pass on his wisdom to someone else.

    My thoughts are with you.



  2. Sunny Girl says:

    Grief is a part of life. We learn from it and hopefully move on. Bas had it right on this and so many others, such a wise man.

    Enjoy your “alone” time and let your creative juices flow. We await the results.


  3. Roz says:

    Hi Ana,

    Sweetie, you take care of yourself and take the time you need. We will be here when you are ready to return and will look forward to your stories. It is all part of the healing process and it does get a little easier over time. There will come a day when you will remember Bas’s wise words with a laugh and a smile.

    Sending you lots of love and hugs, and prayers for your cousin and baby.



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