A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

2-Minute Read


The past week has been a tough week in comparison to the previous week.

Tam struggled to sleep and settle at night over the weekend. It was like something had switched on inside him. His behaviour was fine, he was quiet during the night, but as soon as I pushed him into going to bed or lying down he got really really upset. The tears and sobs were all real, the anxiety was visible in him. Also if I lay down on the sofa he got real upset as well. The tension in his shoulders and neck were so visible. As much as I stayed chilled and kept my tone of voice bright and cheerful he was as tense as can be. That went on from Friday night until Monday night. He went to school fine, he slept a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday when he just ran out of energy but basically went for 20 plus hours at a time.

On Wednesday morning I told Tam that he was going to respite for two sleeps. His reaction was OK. This was going to be a tough time as I would not see him until Friday afternoon. 50 plus hours of not seeing him, the longest time apart since Bev died. I had to use the time wisely to recharge my batteries, do a few jobs around the house that I cannot do with Tam around and just relax.

I am not the best person in the world for relaxing, especially when I need to. I like to be busy, so in the best tradition of not doing what I am supposed to be doing I got busy. My mind did not move from worrying about how Tam was doing and if it was not thinking about that then thinking about Bev was front and centre. Relaxing, I have forgotten how to do that. At least I slept.

Tam came home on Friday and has been really cuddly. During the night he was sick, the only way I can describe it is that he purges himself. He throws up anything he has eaten and then goes quiet for a few hours. I ended up carrying him into bed and lying beside him all night. He woke up and has been quiet and very clingy all day. He does not have a virus or bad stomach, it is just one of the processes that he goes through when he is anxious.

Probably have a quiet day tomorrow as well.

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