A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

3-Minute Read


At 3pm today 13 years ago the world welcomed Tam Samuel Greenwell. My beautiful son. Bev had to have an emergency C section as Tam had wiggled himself into nearly hanging himself on the umbilical cord. Kids!!!

All of my memories of the day relate around Bev and Tam. My awe in Bev’s bravery and this long scraggly little boy that we had brought into the world. The biggest memory I have is seeing Bev’s eyes widen when I showed her Tam. The tears flowed and she was lost in him. My love for Tam was one thing but seen Tam and Bev and the way they went on I was always in awe of them. Tam would settle straight away when he put his head on her chest and could hear her heartbeat. Never worked for me. I was for tickles, feeds and burping. I was never jealous of that bond they had I was just in awe and privileged to witness it and be part of it.

Tam has been robbed of the love that his mammy could provide that I cannot. I have tried to provide it but it was mammies love and I am his dad. He expects certain things from me, not what mammy gave him.

Last night talking about pressies and his birthday Tam became very upset. He was already showing lots of anxiety but the level of upset went real high very quickly. He wanted his mammy. His words were “no presents only mammy”. My heart crumbled. Bev would be inconsolable if she heard him. This came and went all night. His ability to sit still or even sleep disappeared. He was all over the place and the best I could do was plant myself in one place for him to yo-yo back and forth to for cuddles and loves. Telling him to sit still or calm him down is no use, its not he won’t its he cannot.

This morning has been no different. He cannot settle. With everything else going on, he just cannot settle.

Birthdays are not getting any easier. In fact they are getting harder for both of us. The hole just gets bigger in our lives as we have more birthdays.

All that said I am trying my best to have a low key birthday for Tam. I am speading his pressies out over the day and not making a fuss. He has enough going on in his head and I do not want to make it worse. My best plan of action has been to just leave boxes lying around and let him find them.

Take care

Alan & Tam

Recent Posts



Want to know more about us?