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Dear Conor

Dear Conor,

Every day without you is difficult but the last 2 weeks have been really hard. I can't think of any particular reason why that would be except that as time passes, the reality of life without you seems to set in more. I walk through each day and likely many people look at me completely unaware that I am broken. It feels as though I am living someone else's life. I keep wanting to shout at someone, "There's been a mistake. This is not my life." I don't want to get used to this "new normal." There are people in our support group that are further along in the process than us, some even 10 years from their loss. I know it should bring me some comfort that they are surviving and living, but it's scary to me. It seems like that is such a long time to be without you.

I've gone back to work part time, seeing children over 3 because I knew it would be too hard to see children the same age as you but even the older kids are hard. It reminds me of all the milestones you won't see, the sports you won't get to play, the dates you won't get to have. And then I get mad. Mad at how you have been robbed of all of these things. Mad of how Daddy and I have been robbed of watching you grow up.. Mad that Tessa has lost her best friend. You know me. That is not me. I am working so hard to turn this anger, sadness and frustration into something positive and I promise you that I will, but some days I need to be mad. And some days I need to cry all day. I will still survive. I will still take care of Tessa.

During these times, I search for signs. Daddy looks for the blue sea glass when we walk on the beach and he has started a collection. Tessa doesn't need to search; she sees you in everything she does. I look for you in my dreams. I touch my necklace and feel the imprint of your hand and imagine that we are holding hands. It helps but at night as Tessa falls asleep, I feel your absence most. I feel like a part of me is missing. I miss you cuddling up to me. I read somewhere that someone compared the loss of a child to the loss of a limb and I feel like that is truly how I feel.

None of us are the same without you. There is a loneliness to Tessa playing, even when she is smiling and laughing. When I pack the diaper bag, pack the day care bag, get Tessa ready for the library or gym or give her a bath, it just feels wrong. I should not be getting 1 child ready. You should be here, doing all these things with us. For awhile, I kept your diapers in the diaper bag mixed in with Tessa's. It was my way of keeping you with us on all our outings.

You gave me the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen on my birthday. You must have known that I really needed to feel your presence that day.I was smiling and crying at the same time. I hate that that has to be the way we connect,, but I loved that I knew you were there with me. As I sat there, crying and smiling, I thought about what Tessa had asked me earlier, "Mommy will you be happy or sad on your birthday?" I told her it will probably be both. She often asks me are you happy and sad today? And that is my new normal. A constant mix of happy and sad. I look at your pictures and videos and can't help but smile when I see your smile and can't help but cry when i hear your perfect voice and laugh.

I miss you so much that it physically hurts. Sometimes I think if I think of it too much, it would paralyze me. But I know that you are sending me strength. Strength to smile and laugh with Tessa. Strength to get out of bed every day. Strength to honor your memory, your spirit, your joy.

Every second I spent with you was a treasure. You made me a better person. You made me a better mother. You embraced every situation with the most positive spirit. You were always smiling and blowing kisses. When we start doing events in your honor, it will be "Kisses for Conor" because you were such a love and I want to spread that love. You have touched more people in your little life than others do in a lifetime. As devastated as I am that I do not get to see you live a long life, I am blessed for every moment I spent with you in your 17 months.

Every breath I take is for you. I love you so much my perfect little baby boy. Blowing kisses to you tonight and always.

Love, Mommy

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