I have learned many things in my life and I am still learning each and every day raising an autistic child. It is very important that we always stay true to ourselves and our children and express ourselves without hesitation or fear of ridicule. I have at times felt uncomfortable in talking and sharing difficult moments in my life with others and the only way I could help get through the sad and difficult experiences was to distance myself from others, reflect upon my life and the happy and pleasant times I share with my family and friends, take a walk or drive listening to music forgetting for the moment the things troubling me and the most important thing which is finding release from the hurt and pain I feel through crying. I was never ashamed to cry when my pain was too great to bear. I feel we must shed tears when we lose a loved one or go through trying times. I am a private person and I usually confide only in a few people I consider friends who I can trust.
I feel when we suffer a loss it takes time to heal and awhile to get back to some semblance of normalcy. I know the feelings we experience and the pain we feel when we lose someone very close to us and the pain sometimes seems to never really go away. Over the years it seems to diminish but it is always there and we just have to try to deal with it as best we can. No one said it would be easy but we all have to experience sorrow and try to understand perspective, reality and the sad part of life.
I believe as we get older and we experience life’s joys and sorrows we become more introspective, philosophical and aware of our life’s meaning and purpose realizing our own mortality is inevitable. The overriding feeling of being there for our children becomes the uppermost priority in our life. We can not let our emotions get the best of us where we start to feel down and depressed. Depression is not something to take lightly. If someone feels depressed they need to seek medical attention and talk to a medical doctor to help get through it. Sometimes depression will drain you and take away your drive and ambition so it is important that proper treatment is sought to help with the heightened anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
I have cried both tears of joy and sadness in my life and to me it is ok to express these emotions through tears as it helps us through the moment and teaches us about who we are and that we are human with feelings and emotions. If we keep our feelings inside it will potentially cause problems later on as it is not recommended to repress or bury our emotions or feelings. I prefer tears of joy for those are for happy occasions such as my wedding with my beautiful bride Maria and the day Maria gave birth to our beautiful son Matthew on December 8th 1998. My tears of sadness are for the sad reality of losing my parents. My mom on March 23rd, 1990 and my dad on April 16th, 2009. These days are very sad realities for me and each year that passes brings back the pain and sadness and reality of their loss.
I also express tears for my son and his condition. At times it can be very frustrating dealing with autism and epilepsy and experiencing the inevitable difficulties my son encounters of having meltdowns and seizures and behavioral difficulties. I will never forget the day my wife and I were at the hospital with him when the medical team administered anesthesia to help him sleep during the MRI. As we sat outside of the scanning MRI machine all we could do was watch our son who displayed such courage sleep as the machine made such loud noises as it scanned his brain. We were both concerned for him hoping that everything would be ok. After the readings were completed and Matthew was removed from the MRI scanner he was placed in the recovery area to awaken from the medicine. As he awoke from his sleep I was overjoyed and had tears in my eyes happy to see him come out of it and hearing him say he was hungry. We promised him we would take him to his favorite place to eat which is Friendly’s on the way home and he was delighted and so were we.
In life we will encounter both joy and sadness and on occasion we will shed tears and we should never feel ashamed or repress the tears as that is what makes us human with feelings and when we are in touch with our feelings we will truly feel better and deal more effectively with life’s situations. It’s ok to cry for that is how we deal with our joy and our sorrow.
Edward D. Iannielli III