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All Gone Away

Cynthia Griffiths by Cynthia Griffiths Additional Needs

Cynthia Griffiths

Cynthia Griffiths

I am a parent of a 13 year old boy with cerebral palsy and blog about our's about both his life, our family life, and my life as a parent.

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss this past week. 

Sadly, my mother-in-law passed away after a life-long battle with cancer.

The disease came and went and came and went for the span of over forty years, during which time she led life on her terms, busying herself with family, friends, and community service, and enjoying travels all over the world with my father in law.  No matter how expected, the loss is felt no less.

Five years ago, my own mother who had lived in Oregon for two decades, moved back to Southern California to be near her three grandchildren.

She and Cole are thick as thieves.

For the past five years we’ve spent at least one weekend day with her doing errands, having lunch, and goofing around.

It’s the highlight of Cole’s weekend. He adores her more than anyone in his life.

But this past weekend, my mother moved back to Oregon. 

For different reasons, both losses will be long felt. 

Whilst my husband kindly drove the moving truck up to Oregon for my mom, Cole and I spent a day watching all of the Working Title movies, so we could unabashedly have a good cry, without having to further discuss the sadness’s of the week.

By the time we came to (in my humble opinion) the best of them, Four Weddings and a Funeral, we’d laughed and sobbed our way through Definitely, Maybe, Notting Hill and Love Actually.

It was a cathartic day to say the least.

Cole, being non-verbal, seemed to relish the opportunity to release some of his emotions and we talked some about both of his dear grandmothers and about what I could do to help him cope with both the permanent loss of one and the spatial loss of the other. 

Even with the ability to use a voice output device (Cole uses a Tobii eye gaze device) and a vast array of facial expressions, gestures, and sounds, it’s difficult for a non-verbal young teen to articulate the breaking or distress of his heart adequately.

Which, of course, breaks my own fragile heart. 

In the eye of these life-changing events this past week, sits me.  Me, trying to make sure my husband is okay and supported in his tremendous loss, and me, trying to make sure my son transitions through these losses in one piece. 

There’s no room in this for me to break down and let it all hang out, unless it’s under the guise of teary eyes spilled at watching Hugh Grant’s, William standing up Hen at their wedding, opting to risk it all for love.        


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