Today, my heart is full of thankfulness in so many ways.
Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to express my heart here for the past few days. Thank you for accepting my words kindly, rather than chastising me or exhorting me to do this or that. It may seem unfathomable to grieve the loss of a man I’ve never met, but here in blogland the idea is not ridiculed. Instead, here we have an outpouring of love and support in his honor.
I’m thankful for all of the Words of Basdom post a few months ago. I’m glad Bas finally agreed to let the news be public. I knew, for almost as long as I knew Bas, that he didn’t have much time left. When he allowed me to make the public announcement and give some brief details so people could be aware of his situation (why he could no longer blog or comment regularly), we saw community in action. People coming together for the sake of a man who had single-handedly transformed how we viewed spanking blogs.
What impressed me was how faithful everyone was in honoring my request for the day to be a celebration of Bas, to honor and salute him rather than to cry. In his physical real life, medical complications may have weighed him down. Here in blogland, his indomitable spirit triumphed over all.
A friend told me recently that when people are closest to death, we should listen to what they say. They have a perspective, a proximity to knowledge that we don’t have. By being who he was, Bas transformed us all.
I’m thankful that Bas, practical manager that he was, had the foresight to make final arrangements and even to leave a good-bye post for us. Had I known he was sick and suddenly not found any blog posts or emails from him…it’s hard to imagine how much more difficult it would have been.
I am thankful for PK, for Bas’ special connection to her, and that Lisa had the connection with PK to convey the news. Sad news, yes, but this way we were able to say our good-byes.
I treasure the last email Bas sent me. A short message, one too precious to share here, but one that affirmed everything we were to each other. That he was able to do so in the midst of his pain is amazing.
I am thankful for the tears, cleansing and renewing. There are many kinds of grief–unspoken, complicated, bitter, the kind that festers and wounds for the rest of a person’s life. I am thankful for “good” grief, the kind that brings together community and reminds us of who we are.
I am thankful for everyone here who has shared memories. A loved one is not so far away when others hold them in their hearts. I’m thankful for those who have emailed me with little messages or memories of Bas, telling me things I hadn’t known. He certainly got around, our Bas. How he had the time or energy, I’ll never know.
Today, I am thankful. I’m proud to have had a friend like Bas, and I’m determined to make him proud by how I live the rest of my life.
And if you are a lurker, someone new and scared to leave a comment, please know this:
Bas was like you. For four whole years, he was the timid lurker who couldn’t say boo.
Whatever your perspective, whatever your experience…you are welcome here.
Bas would wish it so.
(And tomorrow, I’ll show you a sneak peek of the short-story sequel to Simple Gifts. Somehow, I think it would make Bas smile.)
Please note: my internet access is still quite limited, so replies to emails and posts may be delayed.