Friday, August 24, 2012

Dealing with Death-Aspie Style

As anyone who follows this blog now knows, my father passed away last week. When my father was admitted into the hospital I had already flown down to Florida to be with my mother, so I was with both of my parents when my father passed away. Hubby was then left alone to take care of the boys and keep his law practice afloat. Hubby was also assigned with the task of telling the boys that their grandfather had died.

Now as befits who he is, CM1 immediately started trying to investigate why his grandfather passed away. He Googled, and researched and sought out answers why in his words "such a great wise old sage died." Luckily he had been able to talk to his grandfather and tell him that after his own dad he thought of his grandfather as the wisest old sage in the world. He also told my father that he loved him very much. This had brought a smile to my dad's lips.

CM2 wouldn't get on the phone with his grandfather. That is just his way. I would have to say that one of the best things about my father and mother is that throughout the decades in dealing with the boys and their autism they have been two of the most supportive people in the world. So when CM2 wouldn't get on the phone, my father didn't take it personally. He knew that it had to do with CM2's autism and his intense dislike of phone calls. Honestly too, we had not told the boys how sick my father was, so there was no immediate imperative for CM2 to get on the phone. Also as per his personality, upon hearing of his grandfather's passing CM2 actually didn't bat an eye. He told hubby that he was crying on the inside. And yes that was fine too.

Then came the next day.....

Hubby took them to their morning volunteer activity weeding for the Audubon society. Hubby was sitting in the car on a conference call while the boys, who were used to the routine commenced to pick up the weeds. The director related what happened next.....

She decided to go out and check on the boys to see how they were progressing. She found CM1 as usual working away and CM2 just standing there staring off into space. Then CM2 started to cry. And not just little tears, but ball his eyes out.

CM1 had no patience for his brothers display of emotions. Interesting since CM1 is known to have a crying jag whenever he feels overwhelmed and upset.

"Stop being a pussy," yelled CM1.

"We don't use that kind of language here," the director admonished CM1 gently, while she tried to comfort CM2. At this point CM2 just couldn't control his crying at all.

"I said stop being a pussy," CM1 yelled at his brother yet again.

The director turned to CM1 and told him more forcefully this time," that language is not acceptable here."

Then CM2 angry at his brothers callousness to his pain, turned to CM1 and responded, "My grandfather just died, so fuck you."

The director told CM2 that he can't use bad language either and that maybe he should go sit in the car with dad. She then told CM1 he should call it a day and clean up.

As he was cleaning up CM1 openly wondered why CM2 was being such a "pussy..." but he then caught himself and said to the director  "oops, I mean woosie."


Luckily by the time I saw the director it was a week after this inartful interaction and she could laugh as she related this little blip with the boys and their language denouement. Luckily too she was the youngest sibling in her family and used to babysitting her nieces and nephews. She told me that dealing with this issue was nothing. Her dad was a drill Sargent in the army and she was quite tough.


By the way, when I did finally get home I got an "I'm sorry about grandpa," from CM2 and one long huge hug from CM1.

How they will function in the weeks to come I can't really say. However, I actually think they will be OK. Maybe they will have a moment here and there, which is to be expected, but for the most part I think they will be fine.

We also start back with the therapist next week after a summer hiatus. A little support and some professional help to support the boys in processing this reality is a good thing. As much as I rail against the psychiatric profession, sometimes they do know what they are talking about. Thank heaven.

Until next time,