A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

2-Minute Read


Today me and Tam were separated for longest time. We spent 6 hours apart on a weekend. Yes, we are separate when Tam goes to school. This was only the second time in the last 18 months that we have been separate, but the last time I was in the same building. Today Tam went to a respite centre with me and I left him there. He went off to the beach and I went home.

It was a strange feeling. From 11am until 5pm he was with someone else on a Saturday.

Just to be clear today did not just happen. It has taken a lot of visits and the staff at the respite centre have worked to get to this point. It has taken time but it has been well worth it.

For 18 months since Bev’s death me and Tam have been together all week, every week with only school as a break. 18 months of being in each others pockets. No one with the skills to be able to support Tam without me being with them.

Both me and Tam have had to work towards today. We have had to build up our strength, our indepence from each other in our grief, and our trust in each other to be ok doing this. It has taken a lot of work.

I still had anxieties. I was worried about how Tam would feel. Whether he would be mad at me for leaving him? Or would he be in a mood with me for something that happened there? I had a multitude of worries. A multitude of concerns.

It’s 9pm right now, Tam is in bed. He is quiet, chilled and entertained with his iPad for 20 more minutes. I have a feeling he might be asleep before then.

This is part 1 of his respite care. The next part takes place in a couple of days when he stays overnight. That will be the first time. That gives me a different bunch of worries.

Be strong in what you do.
Take care

Alan and Tam

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