Time seems to speed up as you get older. I can’t believe that it’s coming up to two years since the world changed for us. The dreaded late night phone call, that conversation with my son, the funeral …. all are still so vivid and seem like yesterday.

In that time somethings have changed:

  • New School
  • Anxiety levels
  • Career
  • Living in a country which seems to have completely lost the plot and becoming alien to me
  • Loss of free time
  • Increased disorganisation
  • Increased mood swings
  • Rapidly decreasing social circle
  • New crazy dog (probably my only good parenting decision)
  • Increased money worries (definitely not helped by my one good parenting decision)
  • Rapidly thinning hair (largely due to my one good parenting decision)

And yet somethings have not changed:

  • Still can’t cook
  • Still burn myself on the iron
  • Still don’t understand Pokemon
  • Still haven’t found my ‘how to be a good parent user manual’
  • Still shaking my head at our strange world
  • Still fighting to get Dyslexia support
  • Aspergers
  • Feeling blessed to have a son
  • Hope
  • Love for my son
  • Love for my lost partner

I could witter on for hours about all this. But all I really need to say is we still love you and will always do.

31 thoughts on “Two years

  1. Beautiful. Also, I’m not sure whether it’s a new acquisition or something you still have, but your gentle sense of humor is touching. This thread with your new dog is very funny, and it’s contrast with the tragedy you’re coping with is enlightening. I’m really enjoying your blog. ☺️

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  2. I held my husband’s face in my hands as he passed from this world to the next. It’s been just over 2 years for me also. You have your son at home yet. I was alone. I ended up taking an exchange student even tho I didn’t want to. She was an absolute BLESSING to have in my home, filling it with love and laughter…..

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      1. I was 8 when my dad died .They thought children didn’t grieve.So accepting his grief as you are is the best thing you can do.I know it’s very,very tough to be left like that.I know I felt it was my fault and felt inferior.But the worst was we could not talk about it.With my best wished,Katherine

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  3. My heart goes out to you, so much to cope with in a newly changed world as 2 years is not really that long. Sending you love and encouragement. Dogs bring so much love (mine is pretty poorly behaved in the best of ways.. we just got in trouble with someone at the oval because he barked and wanted to chase the soccer ball and the child playing with it got a bit frightened : he wouldn’t hurt a flee but I left in tears)…<3

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    1. Thank you for the love. We have the same problem with our little chap. He gets so excited when he sees people and usually they just fall in love with him. But had one occasion when someone was clearly scared of the puppy – even though he was just bouncing about wagging his tail, really unsettled my son.

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    2. I agree, two years is a relatively short period of time. Grief is such a process. My father has been gone 5 1/2 years and at times it still stings like it was yesterday. Stay strong. And when you can’t, know you’re not alone.

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  4. Oh my…. what can one say to your post? Like many of the people who have commented, I too have lost a spouse. Time becomes a funny thing after a death. Some days you think everything is fine and other days the tears don’t stop.
    There is no right way to grieve and much like parenting, it’s a crap shoot.

    We all handle it differently. I think by now I am perfectly okay since my husband passed from cancer in 2010 at only 55. But, last night, our youngest son called from Atlanta (where he working in the film industry as an assistant director) and he was discussing his relationship with a girl who also travels in the same industry. He surprised me by bringing up his father. He said, he knew his Dad was proud of him even though he never saw him graduate from college, or gain success in the film business, or know that he got into the director’s guild. But, he needed to let me know that he KNEW his father was proud of him. So, HE needed to talk about his dad last night. And when we were done and I hung up the phone, I just cried. It’s times like that, no matter how many years pass that are challenging.
    Silly little things like getting sick and not having someone there to drive you to the doctors becomes apparent, even though you know you can call Uber or Lift.

    People say time heals. I say it helps. Love is love is love…. It endures throughout time. BUT, we miss do start to miss our partners less as years pass and the sadness eventually doesn’t consume you. It will, however return on occasion. To think that people who are important in our lives should just disappear is ridiculous… at least that is how I believe. My late husband comes to me in my dreams every now and then. He does the same to my son. I think of those dreams as little visits.
    I read a while back that “The Kaballah” says our loved ones come to us in our dreams when we need them. I thought that was lovely. Having lost both my parents and a spouse I find that rather comforting. BUT, I am fiercely independent and live my life. We must move forward. We don’t have to move on and forget. But we need to live our lives the best we can.

    *Regarding your son… I taught school for 36 years. (Gifted elementary school). I had many Asperger students over the years. They were amazing kids. Some more focused than others, some misdiagnosed, and my own grandson has heightened sensitivity issues. He is highly gifted. As an out of the box teacher, my son and I selected a public school that has a gifted program and this year my grandson had a choice of two 3rd grade gifted teachers. We chose the teacher who had a bunk bed in her classroom as a reading area. He is having an amazing year so far. He gets distracted easily and now can go to the top bunk and work and hum and not bother others and they don’t distract him. Non traditional learning is often a wonderful thing. I am certified in gifted education, ESE, elementary ed and early childhood education, but my experience has given me many years of working with a variety of wonderful and interesting children.

    One lovely Autistic boy I had in 4th grade was able to tell me when it was going to rain. He said he could smell it in the air. He was never wrong. I think perhaps my favorite artist, Van Gogh had Aspergers. He saw swirls in the sky that they have recently discovered is the exact formation of the motion of the universe that he captured in his painting Starry Night.. Yet he SAW the motion with the naked eye not a telescope. He wasn’t insane. Just had a gifted brain which perceived things differently than most of us.
    Many of us have dyslexia. I do. I taught my students to put markers under each line in a paragraph to help them track when reading or taking a test so their eyes don’t jump or get confused. SOMETIMES there are colored sheets of clear plastic that if you put over a page in a book it helps in keeping the letters in the right order. The specific color depends on the child. Green and pink or light red I know work since I had students who frequently used those colors and it helped them.

    Hang in there… Parenting IS a crap shoot. I don’t know the age of your son but beware… middle school and puberty is an emotional roller coaster. High school is much better. My sons are 16 years apart in age. (Two different husbands.). Both my boys (men) are grown now. One in his 20’s and one in his 40’s who is a father himself. I am very proud of them both. I survived and so did they. The oldest son’s dad left us when he was ten months old. The younger son’s father died when he was in college. Life isn’t always easy. But, they both grew up into amazing people. Kind, good men who give back to their communities and work hard. And they love their surviving parent. (moi) Even though there will be days during puberty when you question that. You will get through this. I promise you. And I do hope you find love again. Perhaps down the road you will be ready. Right now, enjoy your son and take time to heal. Take care. xo

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment. You explains things so beautifully. The tears sneak up on you. Today it was when we drove past a Chinese restaurant, my partner loved Chinese food. I haven’t been to have a Chinese meal since she left us. Not sure I will ever. Doesn’t seem right.

      I strongly suspect my son does better with visual teaching methods but the schools in our area don’t favour them, preferring the traditional text book approach. All kids should be given the opportunity to flourish, but currently it feels a bit like the Pink Floyd – Wall setup.

      I’ve provided his schools with a supply of blue tinted reading rulers. They help but not sure if blue is the best colour as he has never been fully tested. It’s my trial and error approach. It just feels like the whole of his education will be based on trial and error. The Doctors keep pestering the education service to fully test and then come up with a tailored teaching program (which may formally incorporate non conventional methods). But the education service won’t consider this at the moment, the approach is that all kids need to follow the formal curriculum.

      I’m really pleased you survived.

      It gives me further hope for trials ahead.

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      1. Yes, there will be trials ahead, but you will weather them. There is no time limit to grief.
        My grandmother lost a son when he was a child. She lived to a hundred and three and she wept every year on his birthday. The older she got the more she spoke of him and so the little boy who passed from diphtheria at 9 in 1928, became real to me and not just a black and white photo.
        The funny is that my grandson looks a great deal like him. My grandmother passed long before I became a grandmother, but some days when I look at my precious grandson I see his great uncle. Same smile, same curls and the shape of the face. It’s like in a way… he was given another chance on earth to live his life. I wish both my mother and grandmother could have lived long enough to see my grandchildren, but unfortunately that isn’t how life works.
        **As far as your son goes… and this is REALLY important to know. Please forgive me if I am being too forward but this is my area of expertise.
        If you live in the United States, it is the LAW that schools test children for varying exceptionalities. If he goes to a private school then the public school in the area is required by law to test him. ALL public schools do testing for speech, gifted, learning problems, varying exceptionalities etc. Even if the students don’t attend their home school. As long as there is a public school in the area, your son is entitled to be screened for a learning problem, issue etc, for gifted, speech, whatever. Once you have the test results then you take those to your pediatrician who can add to the diagnoses. *Also, All public schools have county people in special education who visit the schools when asked and who will evaluate students by observing them, sitting in classrooms. etc. They take notes, they may or may not speak to the child, but they observe him in various settings and on a list of characteristics write their observations. The teacher is also given a checklist to fill out. Then they make an evaluation. I had a student who I knew was autistic and also had a condition called PICA (Where children eat their pencils and paper etc. It is a form of Autism that manifests itself in this way.) The parents didn’t want to face this. I was worried about the little boy because he was getting ready to go to middle school and needed to be identified to get special classes. He would be eaten alive by other kids. I called in the school specialists to observe him. He was diagnosed in a month and the parents finally admitted that he had been tested in 2nd grade and diagnosed Autistic but he had done so well at my school that they didn’t want him labeled. It was a shame because in my classroom he did great because his needs were being met, but I knew that middle school teachers wouldn’t understand him at all unless they were forced to follow a specific individual educational plan. Middle schools don’t like to individualize much. They aren’t nurturing like elementary schools.
        **** My suggestion is to privately test you son. Bring the results to your school and they are required by law to address them. BE proactive!!! It sounds like since they won’t budge on how they are teaching, it is likely because they don’t want to meet the individual needs of specific children. In the United States it is the law to do so if the child has an IEP. Each state MUST meet the goals on a child’s individual educational plan. If he isn’t identified they aren’t required to meet his needs. I don’t want to be pushy, but I was an ESE specialist as well as a teacher. Many times private school children came to me and those children were tested and screened and then that way we created an educational plan to specifically meet the goals of the student based on his or her learning issues. I know this topic well as it was my career for 36 years. And teachers and schools who do not follow your child’s individual educational plan will be penalized.
        So my suggestion, is to test him privately. It will give you information that will be helpful. And it will require your son’s teacher to create assignments that best suit his way of learning. Then you can go to the school ESE person and guidance counselor and they will write up an educational plan that will be more in need of his over all learning skills. If he is a visual learner than half of his lessons should be presented that way. His projects can be presented creatively too. Heck, my youngest son started making movies when they studied Macbeth in middle school. He turned everything into a film or a play. Even his psychology class in high school was turned into movies. And he was an advanced place scholar and had half of all his college credits before graduating high school.
        Anyhow, if I have intruded please forgive me. I am a teacher and an educational specialist. It would just be a shame not to take advantage of the special and unique qualities your son possess. His “sound” issues should be part of his educational plan. They are addressed in my grandson’s plan. In fact they have an entire autism wing in his school. He is not in it because he is not autistic, but he is in a gifted class and so he has an educational plan. Okay, I could go on and on (and I did…) I have to remember that this isn’t a parent conference… sorry….. old habit. BTW, my former students and their parents still write to me on social media and share what they are doing. I called my classroom a place of Joyful learning. It was. Good luck.

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      2. This is really interesting as it is so different to the English system. If you are lucky get a Local Health & Education Plan approved for your child. This has to be approved by the local council and health providers. They can take years to get in place. If they are approved some additional funding is released. However this pot of money is rapidly been cut back. It is probably just enough to pay for a bit of additional support from teaching assistants and/or reading pen. In some cases the Plan may also allow the family to claim some limited ‘disability’ benefits. I remember speaking to a really good Educational Psychologist. She said that the approach in this country is not to tailor the education programme to allow children like our son to flourish. It’s more about sticking to the core curriculum and trying to ensure the widening gap in performance is slowed.

        My son has just lost his last grandparent. He was only lucky to meet to of them. It is so difficult for him to lose his mum and two grandparents in such a short time period. He finds it really difficult to try and unpick the elements which are related to his grief, with the elements of his behaviour which are related to things like his Aspergers or Dyslexia.

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      3. I am so sorry. But, your child has you and you are clearly doing a good job trying to meet his needs.
        I apologize for being so pushy. But I couldn’t understand how your son had been overlooked in the school system. However, when I realized you weren’t in America, then it became clear. America currently has wonderful opportunities in special education. (Of course with our current President and his choice on who is head of education in this country money provided for exceptional student education may be cut). The only hope we have for keeping current programs is that the President’s own son (The youngest) is rumored to have Aspergers.

        Our school system even provides grief counseling for children. I’m sorry those individualized opportunities are not available for your child.
        Just Keep reinforcing how much you love him and at home encourage him to pursue his interests. Discover what he likes to do. And focus on that at home. I know my grandson loves legos and we’ve taken him to Legoland where he can build incredible devices that move. I believe they have one in the UK. I don’t know your son’s age but if you can find one thing he can really focus on it can bring him great joy. The cutest thing when we took my grandson to Legoland he said, “Grandma this is my world.”
        During the summer he went to a camp where they build amazing electrical moving LEGO flying machines. (He’s a Star Wars fan like his Dad). Whatever your bonding thing is, it will be a positive influence on him. Children heal more easily than adults do. If they know they are loved they survive. Hang in there. It sounds like you are doing a great job.

        ButOn your own, you can

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      4. Thanks for this. I think focusing on the likes at home is the secret. He loves Dinosaurs, Peregrin Falcons, Lego, Pokemon, WWE and History. Our Legoland is a few hundred miles away but it is on our list of must do’s. But it’s trying to book a time when it’s very quiet. Lego is good as it’s mostly language free.

        Again we seem to be behind America. Immediately after the loss of his mum the school gave us some bereavement booklets. We asked the local vicar to speak to him, which was really good. But no formal bereavement counselling was available. A couple of years later and we have finally got him some regular counselling for his anxieties.

        Really appreciate the info. Thanks

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      5. First, sorry I got carried away on educational advice. It’s a hazard of my job. And I just noticed you spelled a few words the British way, thus you probably are not from the US which means everything I shared is not relevant. I still recommend private testing so you can request that his needs are met, but as to legal requirements, outside of the United States I don’t know what rights you have. Sorry I went crazy on the advice. I’m just used to being in charge of helping kids and passionate about addressing each child’s strengths. Good luck to you. If my iPad had a delete or edit button I’d click it to remove my lengthy response. Sorry.

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