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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Question and Uncertainty

By Out-of-Sync Woman

I was never very close to my grandparents either physically or emotionally. In fact I have never been close to someone who is old and sick. I knew my parents were both saddened and stressed out by their parents which left me with the impression that their parents caused more unhappiness then happiness. Due to that distance, I personally didn’t feel much sadness about their deaths. I didn’t know them or have a close relationship with my grandparents. I was mostly worried about how their deaths would effect my parents.

My Mom dealt with her grief by cleaning and using work as a way of dealing with her sadness. I guess I wasn’t that surprised since my grandmother had been sick for a long time and her passing was a blessing in some ways. My grandmother didn’t fear death since she had lived a long, full life.

My Dad on the other hand, did struggle a lot with his father passing away. I think my Dad would have wanted more time with his father and would have struggled no matter when his Father died. I have never seen my Dad go through such a rough patch prior to this. It was scary for everyone in the family.

There was one death that not only affected me but my whole entire family. She was my closest friend, my confidant and somebody who made me feel safe and loved. I know everybody in my family felt deeply sad about her loss. What made it worse is that it was a sudden death, an accidental death. No warning, she was gone, and I never saw her again. It was many years ago but I still miss her very much.

These days I feel a new kind of uncertainty within me because my parents are getting older. My siblings and I have many questions that we wish we could ask our parents. I also have questions that most of my other siblings don’t have since my difficulties are different than theirs. Most of my questions don’t have defined answers, like ‘How do I deal with the uncertainty of not knowing how my parents are really doing?” For example, my Dad goes back and forth between “I’m great” and “I don’t have much time.” How do I spend time with them but at the same time prepare myself for losing them to death? I also have practical worries like ‘Will my oldest sibling resent me for needing help when our parents are gone?’ I know I need more help than any of my other siblings but needing someone else’s help is scary. I think my parents’ death will cause us to drift apart since we would lose our reason for staying close.

I don’t have answers but I do have a lot of questions. I guess that like many things in life, I have to live with uncertainty. I’m hoping in the future that there may be more information available for those who face unique challenges regarding dealing with aging parents.