Because I have autism, I live by concrete rules instead of abstract beliefs. And because I have autism, I think in pictures and sounds. I don't have the ability to process abstract thought the way that you do. Here's how my brain works: It's like the search engine Google for images. If you say the word "love" to me, I'll surf the Internet inside my brain. Then, a series of images pops into my head. What I'll see, for example, is a picture of a mother horse with a foal, or I think of "Herbie the Lovebug," scenes from the movie Love Story or the Beatles song, "Love, love, love..."
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John, what wonderful programs and what a gift you’ve given your children by fostering their unique processes of healing in this way. I remember, after my mother passed away, how very much I was mindful of my father’s grief and, too, of his utter devotion to and beautiful love for his children. Being an empathetic child didn’t lack for some intensely heavy shit at too young an age; but I can now see the gift of it. I mean, having both witnessed and experienced the aftermath, during that time I also got to dream of a life that would be lighter and happier. Some may argue that it’s a form of escape. Ok fine. But I mostly see it as a roadmap, loosely navigated- with detours and pit stops- creating and evolving into the life I’m now living. Which is lighter and happier. I wish you, your children and your in-laws similar hope and peace as you honor your grief. I so enjoyed reading your insights (beautifully written!). Thank you so SO much for offering a fresh voice.