Celebrating Connor: Honoring His Memory 5 Years Later

Five years ago today, I received one of the worst phone calls. It was my oldest daughter calling to tell me that her younger brother had killed himself. This propelled me into learning to live again after the death of a child. My son was the second of 4 children to die.

It has been over 30 years since my 9-month-old baby girl died and I am okay. Now it is surreal that 5 years have passed since my 24-year-old son died by suicide. I am okay – for the most part.

This morning, I paused to reflect on my son, his life and where I am now. At the tree dedication at his favorite skate park, friends and family wrote on note cards their favorite memories of him. In reading their notes, I was brought to tears because I saw my son through other people’s eyes, as a friend to them, more than a son to me.

Below are some of the notes that were shared with me:

I “crashed” at the Green house all the time. I got to know Connor better and he was so genuinely sweet at heart
I will never forget Connor’s free spirit and the energy he shared with all
Sweet Connor!!! The nicest boy in the neighborhood
Connor and I met probably working the worst job. A blessing to share that experience and lucky enough to become good friends.
My favorite memory is cooking breakfast with you and dancing in the kitchen
Having you stay overnight at my house and having a dance party with your sisters
Discussing new metal bands
We were hanging out and stumbled across a skunk and Connor was so chill in that moment. Because of his calmness we never got sprayed
Connor’s smile was full of charm – even as a baby
We celebrate you and proudly wear Tie-Dye in your memory. The colors alone shout for joy!!!
I always wanted Connor to be my own real brother
Thank you so much for all that you taught me and continue to teach me
What has always stuck with me about Connor is how he could never pass up on chocolate milk at any restaurant
I will never forget you chasing my cat around and putting a cape on him just so you could send a pic to me
I miss you jamming in my car on the way home
He had a beautiful soul and touched so many people’s lives
Connor was the ultimate hyper machine. He always had energy and helped me feel better
I have some of the best memories skateboarding and drawing with him
He was one of the first people to reach out to me at Cornerstone and share life stories
He would greet me with a witty comment, and I tried to be prepared with a fun comeback

Thank you to all those who shared their memories and continue to think of Connor.

Reading these memories has brought tears to my eyes – for my son in life brought out the good in people, inspired them and he genuinely cared about others. I will spend the day with my daughter and wrap Tie-Dye ribbons around his memorial tree. If the weather is nice, I will be lucky enough to watch kids at the skate park. I will remember my son, his smile, his hugs, his laughter and most likely will mix in some more tears. Just because I cry, does not mean I am not okay. Tears are natural. I will always miss my son.

Connor Bray Green March 7, 1994 – December 14, 2018

“I love you to the stars and back.” The last words I heard from Connor.

“Times three.” The last words I said to my beloved son. I am forever grateful for the time we had together.

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