A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

2-Minute Read


September is a month of birthdays. Bevs on 10th, Mine today 12th, and Tams on 24th. It used to be a fun month, now wrapped in grief.

Grief for my soul mate not been here to make a fuss of, grief for my son not having his mammy to fuss over him, and grief of not having someone to share my birthday with. To be honest I have never been bothered about my birthday, the biggest part of my birthday was talking to my mam and wishing her a happy birthday. She did all of the hard work.

So I am writing this sitting in a tea room waiting for a full english breakfast as a treat to myself. Tam is safe at school after a very tearful night. Its time to take a breath, time to breathe.

I knew that these few days would be difficult, I just did not guess on how crushing the grief would be. The surprise has been Tam. His grief really came into perspective over the last few days. With Tam being mostly non verbal it is always difficult to process what is going on with him either physically or emotionally. Well I can be in no doubt about his emotional state. He sang happy birthday to a photo of his mammy with no prompting or discussion, he has cried for mammy for the last few days and this morning the first thing he did was come across and say happy birthday and give me a crushing hug. I am so proud of my boy and the only thing I wish is that I could reach him easier.

So breakfast eaten and it was very good. Service excellent, full english breakfast excellent, carrot cake excellent, Happy Birthday to me. If you are in Newcastle I would recommend very highly the Quillaim Tea Rooms opposite the Civic Centre at the Haymarket end of Percy Street.

Off for a walk and a little bit of shopping, we are out of waffles and Tam is loving waffles at the moment.

Thanks for reading

Alan & Tam


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