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To my family:

by Maria Gallagher
Connor Rea Gallagher (December 24, 1995 ... February 24, 1997)

When Connor died, I had to do certain things, had to make certain decisions and I did them now I realize that I don't have to do some things that I don't want to do. I want to tell my family and in-laws these things but for some reason cant seem to do it.

To my family:

I don't have to grieve a certain way, I can scream, I can yell and if I want I can lock myself up in a room for a day or two.

I can choose not to see new babies or ones Connor's age (maybe someday I will see and hold them but right now sorry to hard).

I can walk around all day in my bathrobe and stare into space.

I can stay on my computer for hours.

I can talk to his pictures and wait for replies and hope to hear them( even though they never come).

I can ask questions that have no answers, maybe if I ask them enough I'll find the answers.

I can tell everyone the same story over and over, maybe then I'll believe it really happened.

I can drive ten miles out of my way to shop at a store we never went to.

I don't have to be thankful that I still have two children, I know that and I am thankful, but hey I want all three and now.

I don't have to understand that you or someone else is grieving his death I know that but it does not matter to me I lost a part of me I carried him in me and with me, I lost my baby and you did not.

I know that you lost your grandchild, but see we are different I lost my son, yours is still here next to me grieving.

Don't tell me that its gonna get better, why should it, why should anything be better when he is dead??

Don't ask me if I'm better now , his death was not a sickness that can be cured.

Don't tell to accept it, deal with it and live with it yes, but accept it no.

Don't tell that life goes on, yes I'm painfully aware that it does.

Don't say that maybe he is better off, do you really think that any child is better off without his mother ?

Don't tell me that I have to go to that place or this event or see so and so, no I don't have to, I had to bury my baby and plan his funeral I had to do that. But I don't have to do anything else.

Don't tell that my guilt and pain is not real, how can they not be real if I feel them ?

Don't tell me its best to forget his death, how can I forget when its burned into my mind.

Don't tell me that he spent his time here or that he was only meant to be here for a little while, Does that mean my other children are not as special or that their lives have no purpose. I never asked to be special.

Don't tell me not to go to the support groups or my email list that it will cause more grief, more pain. So tell me when its 4am can I call you and scream ???

Don't say time will heal , yes it will but for now I'm stuck in time, for me time does not exist.

Don't tell me you have to start over, yes I want to start over, Id like to start over again to the day of his birth.

Don't say you'll see him in heaven, yes I think I will but can you prove it?? and why should I have to wait till then to hold my child??

Don't tell me that I have to create a new life, yes I do and will but maybe I'll do it tomorrow or the next day, when I'm ready to.

Don't tell that I have to get back to normal, how can I when part of my normal is missing.

Don't tell me that reaching out to others in pain is worse for me, that it will make things harder, do you know, have you ever reached out to someone ????

Don't tell me what your timetable for grief is, I have my own.

Why don't you just listen ????

I might send this to my mother in law who stated on the day of my son's funeral that her grief was as great as ours and we should know that. She said " don't you realize that I lost a grandchild" I wanted to hit her but walked away.

Maria

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