A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

3-Minute Read

misty morning

Nocturnal life is common amongst geeks. I have stayed up until the early hours and then got up at 6am and headed off to work, with a couple of hours of sleep. As I have got older, I have become less and less able to do it. Now, as a single parent of Tam, I have had to learn how to do it again. 

If I am working on the computers Tam will happily sit with me either on the sofa if I am working on the laptop or on my knee if I am working on the desktop computer and watch and listen to my explanations of what we are doing. He is so intensely interested and if we have a lull in the activity; I have to find another job to fill in the time. At night, when the world is quiet and all the sensory inputs have we have turned the sensory inputs right down, it settles Tam. When his sensory inputs are my voice and the clack-clack of the keyboard, he is super chilled and immersed in what is going on. If I have to have a video conference, he will sit still and quiet, watching the screen and listening to the conversation. If I am using headphone, he likes to press his head against one headphone so he can hear both sides. It is a lovely calm time for both of us. It’s our non-anxious time. The rest of the world does not matter, and COVID-19 does not exist. Our escape.

Tam has just got up from sitting with me and pulled the blinds up. He did that yesterday at exactly the same time 5:12am. Today the cloud obscure the peachy glow in the sky that we had yesterday. (how do I know the time he pulled the blinds up yesterday, well I checked the time we took a photo yesterday)

After a bad day yesterday where anxiety, depression and grief overtook me and Tam fed off it tonight has been a much better time. Tam has had moments of being an absolute tinker. He has put his puppy eyes to great use asking for food, and also he has been so loving. He has really cheered me up. 

The sky is a purply blue grey and the clouds are heading south. The day is just starting for most; we are well into it. Today we will get fresh air and try to power on and get to normal sleep time. If we fail, then so what. As long as I have a happy boy and we get our to do’s done for the day then we will have a successful day. Right now we have cleared all but two tasks off our list. Getting some exercise and fresh air is the only one that matters and to be honest it is a great time to go for a walk as I don’t think we will see a person. Sleep well and thanks for reading.

Alan & Tam

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