A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

4-Minute Read


The last few days have seen us doing homeschooling, building and rebuilding our fort, tidying, reorganising DVD’s, and finally going out shopping. It has been a time fraught with anxiety. It has been a peculiar time and will no doubt continue to be weird.

Tam is very chilled and although he has his moments he is much more relaxed. That is down to the fact that he is not going to school. He mentions it now and again and I explain “no school” and from that point on he is chilled. A win for now but when he goes back to school I am expecting a huge backlash. I hope I am wrong.

Anxiety has been the biggest problem I have been dealing with. A lot of that anxiety has been around feeding Tam and having the things that he asks for and the things I know he will eat. We have managed to get 1 delivery so far. Got the next one in a couple of days and then the last one we have booked is about 10 days after. I keep checking for more delivery slots but it is coming up blank. I worry that if the local shops close then getting food is going to get difficult.

The other part of the anxiety is about getting sick. If either of us gets sick how will it work? What will happen? Both me and Tam have had coughs, Tam has been off his food and had a few days of on and off low fever. But with that said I don’t know if we have had COVID-19 or not. I wish I had a couple of antibody tests.

Some things I have stopped worrying about are sleep and time. Tam after being ill has fallen into a strange set of sleep patterns which I have not stressed about. I am slowly working on getting him back to normal times of sleep but for now, it does not matter. We have no visitors, we have nowhere to be so right now it is more important for Tam to be chilled and happy. I sleep when he sleeps, I eat when he eats, we chill.

I am writing this and Tam is sitting at one end of the sofa with his feet up watching “The Fantastic Voyage”, yes the 1960’s film. He is immersed. He has just pulled the blinds up as the sun is coming up, its a lovely peachy colour and just a little misty. We have done some maths and English. We have extended our mantras of question and answers. Food has been fine and a little too much coffee has been drunk by me. For all I have had enough hours of sleep I still find being awake from 4-5am a tough time. I always have for some reason.

I am not expecting school to restart until 2021, I might be wrong but for the moment there are too many unknowns so it is better for my brain to see this as a bunch of marathons rather than a sprint to easter and then school will be bake on. I doubt very much that anything will change after easter.

Summary, we have forgotten about time and we operate to Tams internal clock with my Daddy modifications to bring it some reality and alignment with the outside world. Tam is happy and secure is still the most important aspect of life. The bites and scratches are nearly all healed from the school fear incidents. Anxiety level is much higher than normal and is something I am working on. I am getting a bit tired of making bacon, mushroom and noodles; but I am trying to widen Tams food likes. We are getting plenty of exercise because we have loads of time for rough and tumble. Outside time is all about doing as much as we can and make the time productive.

Its 5:49am and Tam is starting to get sleepy again, Fantastic Voyage is coming to an end and hopefully he will want to go to bed and sleep when the credits have rolled. Stay safe and sleep well.

Alan & Tam

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