A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

5-Minute Read


2 Years have passed and you are missed more every day my love. Its 2 years since we touched and talked and those 2 years have been the hardest of our lives.

Tam is growing so fast, I think he would be taller than you now. Right now his hair is not as short as it has been but I have to fix that soon. He won’t let me brush his hair the way he used to with you. He has your wilful way, he is determined and won’t take no for an answer. Just like you.

He also has your walk, he drifts along, barely making a sound with his hair blowing in the breeze. I love to fall behind him and watch him when he is happy. It makes me smile that he has your walk.

Oh, one thing you are missing is puberty. I cannot really remember going through it but Tam is having some issues and everything is funny. Not so much for me but he is in the world of discovery. Anything more is best left unsaid. I just thought you should know.

Every time I look at Tam I see you in his eyes. His eyes change so much in different lights but when he comes up close to ask me something and his nose is almost touching mine its your eyes that he looks through. The moments it is so obvious is when he is asking about going to the pictures. He has to go through the “going to the pictures tomorrow”, “going to Cineworld”, and finally “going to see….” all with his nose almost touching mine and his eyes all bright and sparkling. You would love it, I do.

School has been a bit of a challenge for Tam the last month. As it was last year, but we will see if that calms down next term. His speaking is coming on thought. He asks for all kinds of things, but the funniest is when the sink is full of dishes. The way he says “Oh Daddy” is so funny I can hear you prompting him. He gets me to change the water and then he gets to washing up. He is so good at it. The dishes are all stacked beautifully and immaculately clean.

I have been so proud of Tam moving to the big school. New site, different layout. He has taken to it really well. You would like Tams taxi driver Graeme and Claire his new escort. They are both really good.

One of Tams newest things is that when he comes in from school he sees what has been moved and checks for presents. I use your handbags to leave him little things. During this time he puts dishes in the sink, his uniform comes off and goes in the washing machine and everything is put in its place. Sometimes I leave things lying around for him to sort out. Then once he has done that he drags me to my seat and gets his iPad and chills next to me. He is a man of great habits.

One of the hardest things I have done is organise for Tam to have visits to a respite place. You heard about it plenty and you would love the place and staff. Ian his main carer is brilliant with Tam and has taken a lot of time to make sure that Tam has settled there. The staff have been brilliant with Tam. It has been a tough road but Tam is getting to the point of enjoying it. It gives him a rest from me. I often feel sad about sending him to Bedeburn, and wonder what you would say about it all. But I look at it from the point of view of Tams needs and I make it as positive as I can for him. He asks about going to Bedeburn and now we have got to the point of its an adventure and no tears.

Darling, we both miss you so much, you have left a hole in our lives that is so big it has been difficult at times for both of us to keep going. We feed off each other and we push each other onwards. Everything we do we take you with us and you are in our thoughts. We take you along with us in our heads and hearts and I feel your presence in our boy everyday.

Tam still likes to have Channel 5 on the TV. All of the “Housewives of…” plays on in the background for comfort. Neither of us watch them, they just play in the background. It only meant something to watch them with you.

Health wise we are doing better. I have Tam physically fitter than he has been over the past 2 years and I am trying to look after myself better. It is Tams mental health that worries me the most but we are getting help on that. Doc Davies keeps us both right.

We miss you every waking moment, we miss you voice and your smile. We miss your loving touch. We miss your laugh. We miss your teacher voice when we mess on too much and the tickles become too much. I miss watching you and Tam snuggling on the sofa with him refusing to move unless you move first. I miss the brightness, love and joy you brought into our lives.

I would give anything for our boy to spend more time with you. Just to see the two of you again with the love and warmth that you both shared. It breaks my heart that I will never see that again. I remind Tam everyday how much you loved him. I show him the photos on the memory wall we have and we talk about each picture. I watch him and see him mouthing the words I say. The last time he asked to get the stories of the pictures he sat next to me and I could smell your perfume. He had been in his memory box and sprayed himself with Clinique Happy and Burberry London. I cried with him.

Sleep well and fly free my love.

All of our love

Alan & Tam

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