It's been almost 2 months since J passed away. At first, we all went through shock: my older sons tried to find humorous ways of coping. G has spent a lot of time saying "bye, bye" through dolls and toys that he'll sit alone and play with, intently, on the floor. G knows his Dad isn't coming back, but he's naturally confused as to why.
At one point, we were at the apartment of some friends who we used to visit. Without J there, G turned around to the father of the family and said, "Bye, bye, Daddy!". My heart's already broken, but that just put an extra crack along the side. In some ways, G is very expressive with his grief, autism or no autism. For a 6 year old, he has some amazing coping mechanisms. I'm very proud of all 3 boys for how they've handled themselves.
Another nifty item that's helping us through: a child-care giver with training in ABA and RDI. C is the most non-complicated, caring, Iraqi-war veteran-training-to-be-an-elementary-school-teacher I could imagine. G bonded with her almost immediately, so C got right in there and started teaching him. Although we've been transitioning part-time, I will start traveling for work at the beginning of February and C will come on full-time, including some nights. I can only hope that G's progress (and he continues to make progress, circumventing any downward spirals he may have encountered because of the trauma) stays on course through all of the changes we as a family are having to make.
As for me, I'm still on the sidelines, focused on the boys, keeping it together and just hoping, hoping, hoping.