Mummy What Happened to Conor?

We are coming to the end of baby loss awareness month and this time I think I’ll be glad to see the back of it. I totally embraced it the first couple of years after Conor died. Reading all the stories and seeing candles lit gave me a sense of community. I felt less alone in my loneliness. I have found the month of October tough the last couple of years. Now when I read all the stories and see the photos of other babies who have died I find it overwhelming. There are so many stories that mirror ours. I revisit memories that I didn’t invite back. “Just don’t read them” I hear you advise. Yet, somehow I am drawn to them. It’s like an addiction. I don’t know how many times I clicked refresh during the Wave of Light Day on 15th October but I couldn’t stop. Tears flowed freely and left me exhausted. This new life with grief is so unpredictable. Just when I think I am on the right track I am thrown off course and for a while grief takes over. I am ready to say goodbye to October and take charge for a while.

Lighting our candle during the Wave of Light gave us an opportunity to speak about Conor with his little (now a busy and chatty 3 year old) brother. It gave him an outlet for questions; “can we get another Conor, one who isn’t dead?”….then came the question I hadn’t prepared for “what happened to Conor?” The truth is I barely understand what happened and have only recently stopped asking this question myself. I sought advice from the online community I had recently been addicted to. I wanted my answer to reflect both our true story and our cultural beliefs. I also didn’t want to scare a sensitive 3 year old. The question was asked again another day;

3 year old; “Mummy what happened to Conor?”

Me; “Conor’s body stopped working when he was in Mummy’s tummy”

3 year old; “but why?”

Me; “we don’t know”

3 year old “but why?”….

I thought I had to give my inquisitive 3 year old a definite answer but there isn’t one. Sometimes in life we just “don’t know” and that’s the challenge for all of us.

A letter to Conor on his 5th Birthday

Happy 5th birthday Conor,

Can you believe you’re 5 now? That’s all your fingers and your thumb on one hand. We’re each going to need our other hand next year to count your age. Your little brother and I had fun making your cake. We used the new star tin that Elena’s Mummy bought us. We covered the cake with chocolate icing and your little brother poured sprinkles all over it (and all over the kitchen too).

I am sorry I’m late writing to you. I wanted to write earlier but I was just too sad. You should have been starting school this year. I should have been polishing shoes and packing your lunch in a Superman rucksack. I should have been holding your hand tight and kissing your head as you walked into the classroom…..but that’s not how our story goes.

It’s been a busy year Conor. Your little sister arrived safely into our family of 5. Just like your little brother did, she grabs hold of my star necklace and I tell her about you. I expect one of her first words will be star too. Your brother has started asking questions about you. We answer honestly and simply. He doesn’t understand but then in many ways, nor do I.

I love you now as much if not more than I did when I first met you. I am sending sloppy kisses to your star and back. Stay close Conor.

Love Mummy xx⭐️xx

The pages of Cakes for Conor have been quiet of late. Over the past year my energy went into surviving another pregnancy after loss and entertaining a very busy little brother. My grief has entered a different phase. Maybe this is the acceptance that I have been both hoping and fearing would come. I am happy to have so much joy in my life while equally I welcome the grief to enable me to feel close to Conor. Life after loss is complicated.