The most difficult, yet inevitable event to happen in one’s life is the passing of a family member or friend. After a recent loss in my family I realized that in certain life situations my viewpoints, as someone who is autistic, on death greatly differ from those of neurotypical people.
Individuals like me on the higher end of the autism spectrum are able to understand the theory that life must come to an end. It’s the way in which I break things down and conceptualize this idea that makes me unique. My reactions to death are driven only by my emotions and differ from person to person.
When my aunt died about four years ago I did not take it well. I am the first person to admit that I have some interesting quirks that made being around me a challenge. Though I used to secretly call her Cruella de Vil and dreaded being in her company because she would scream at me, I didn’t recognize until later that everything she said to me was meant to help me.
She ended up teaching me invaluable life lessons that are still embedded in my mind. Whenever I am having a problem, whether at work or in my relationships, if I close my eyes and listen closely I can practically hear her giving me advice on how to fix everything.
When my uncle passed away earlier this month I didn’t feel any emotion at all. In fact the first thought that popped into my head when my mother told me the news was, “that sucks,” and went about my day. I was never a fan of his. That being said I couldn’t understand why I had to partake in the traditional grieving process. I had to sacrifice two days of my life sitting in a cold funeral parlor and standing at a cemetery in freezing rain.
As I have grown wiser I realize now that losing the ones I love will be unavoidable. However, even though they will be gone in the physical sense, I know I will see them again when it is my turn to take my final journey. A body is only a shell and the soul is a matter of energy. One of the first laws of science states that energy can never die.