Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Remembering My Grandparents, or What a Good Ally Looks Like

I started writing about a myriad of topics for this month. I started pieces on accommodations, on learning autism-specific terms, on the troubles of labeling, special interests, etc. I didn't quite know what to put up on the blog so I began writing almost anything I could think of. (Don't worry, those pieces will see the light of day - I promise.)

Then at the beginning of January, my paternal grandfather died.

This wasn't exactly a shock to me. Zadie (said grandfather) hadn't been in great health for the past year. And he had been in hospice for almost two months, so it really was just a matter of time before he made that trip to the Spirit in the Sky.(TM) And I had made many a visit where I told him how much I loved him, said my goodbyes, and he was able to respond, telling me he loved me back and always would.

I knew that his departure day was coming. I just wasn't prepared for it.

There are many articles about autism and grief. The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism has a particularly good one worth checking out. But this post isn't going to talk about the psychology or mechanics of how autistic people grieve or face loss. I don't feel that I have any real authority on that, as grief and loss manifests itself differently in people, even across the autism spectrum. No two autistic people are the same.

What I want to talk about is my grandparents' unwavering support for me as an autistic person.