No Dress Rehearsal

that is what the hospice nurse told me when I couldn’t control myself when she told us he was in transition, in typical Selfless Connor fashion he gave us time to prepare and rallied to give us 3 full days to sit by his side.  Connor passed peacefully early this afternoon, and boy was she right there is no dress rehearsal, as prepared as we were nothing can prepare you for this.  He waited for his sister to get home from camp, as she kissed him and Casey and I held his hands he took his last breath.  We will never be the same, we are beyond heartbroken but so incredibly blessed to have been his parents.  Fly high sweet angel.


72 thoughts on “No Dress Rehearsal

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. Words cant even explain or try to comfort you. Fly high Connor. I will pray for peace for you and your family.

  2. We will be praying for all of you, & Connor will have a permanent place in our minds & hearts. God was waiting with open arms for your sweet angel. Sending all our love. xoxo

  3. Dearest family, I have followed your loving family since the twins were born…it is with deep deep sorrow that I send you compassion and daughter is a friend of Ryan’s..none of how we are connected matters…i read this many years ago and now share it with you when you are ready to read…please know there are so many of us praying for your suffering. Ram Dass wrote a letter some years ago to a family who had lost their young daughter, Rachel. Although he wrote it to these two parents specifically, everything in this letter applies to anyone who has lost a child.

    Dear Steve and Anita,

    Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

    I can’t assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel’s legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

    Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.

    Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts – if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space.

    In that deep love,
    include me.

    In love,

    Ram Dass

  4. I am so very, very sorry. I’m sending prayers for all of you, that you find comfort in this difficult time. Thank you for allowing us to follow Connor’s journey. Your family has shown us what true strength really is.

  5. Erin – words cannot express my sorrow for you. You are such a special person and I feel so blessed to have spent those years at Turner together…I know you will come out of this a better and stronger person, mommy, and wife. Stay strong. HUGE hugs and kisses.

  6. Your little angel touched more people in his three short years than most of us do in a lifetime. You and Casey couldn’t have given him a more loving and wonderful life. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in this time of unimaginable grief.

  7. Be at peace sweet Connor. Your legacy of light, love, and laughter lives on. God bless you and your dear family.

  8. My sincere condolences to all of your amazing family. Connor ‘s strength has been inspiring as has the love and courage of your entire family. Hugs. ..Maureen

  9. No words…only tears. Many prayers for your peace. How blessed you were to have such a beautiful son. How blessed he was to have you as his parents. Your/his story as touched thousands. Thank you to Connor and to you for sharing it. It has mad me a better person. God Bless you and surround you with peace and love. ❤

  10. So many thoughtful things have been said; at a loss for words, so I echo those comments. You have all been so strong; my prayers continue for the family. My deepest condolences.

  11. Erin we are praying for some comfort for you and all of your wonderful family. Such a special boy who touched so many people in his much too brief time here.

  12. Erin, my prayers to you and your family. He fought the fight and you did all to help him through the journey.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss! I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing Connor with us. His story has touched and inspired so many. Fly high sweet boy.

  14. Connor forever holds pieces of your heart so as he flies high he leaves your hearts forever broken. We promise to never ever forget Connor, and to always keep sharing his life story.

  15. So many tears are being shed tonight but while we’re crying, we’re holding our children tighter and loving them harder. Because of your strength and courage to share your story, I know I will continue to hold my child tight and truly live life every moment- like you have taught us. You, Casey, Connor and Claire’s strength has made me a better mother and I thank you for that. I will hold Connors spirit in my heart for a lifetime.

  16. Dear Crooks Family, You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Your love, strength, compassion, humor, grace, and spirit are evident in every update and every post. We are immensely saddened and cry tears in Connor’s memory. Please know that he touched many people. We are so incredibly sorry for your loss. Xoxo always, the Plaut Family

  17. I am so so sorry and heartbroken for you and your family. Sending prayers and love and thinking of your brave, sweet, angel.

  18. Not sure who the author is but this poem bought a little comfort to me during a difficult time:

    “Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)

    “Life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me.
    I cannot choose the colors
    He weaveth stealthily.

    At times He weaveth sorrow;
    And I in foolish pride
    Forget He sees the upper
    And I the underside.

    Not ’til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Will God unroll the canvas
    And reveal the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needful
    In the weaver’s skillful hand
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned

    He knows, He loves, He cares;
    Nothing this truth can dim.
    He gives the very best to those
    Who leave the choice to Him.

  19. Connor inspired us as a family to be better to each other and to cherish every moment we have. When things get tough, I think of Con and your family and take a deep breath and remember that life is precious. He will always be present for us and we will honor his memory by spreading as much kindness as we possibly can.

  20. Erin and family, I am so incredibly sorry. I truly believe Connor is flying high – a true, sweet angel welcomed by the Lord’s warm embrace who will always know the depth of you and your family’s love for him and who will always watch over you. I also believe the bond he shares with Claire transcends all, and I believe she will always know and feel him walking her path with her and know that he is always smiling over her, forever her best friend and biggest champion. Connor will not be forgotten and I will continue to share his story and pray for him and you. Sending you all so much love.

  21. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your sweet Connor. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. ❤ hugs

  22. Erin – words cannot begin to express how very sorry I am for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  23. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time….a new angel was born today, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  24. Erin…. My heart is so full of sadness for you and your family. How lucky Connor was to have you as a mom and how lucky were you to be blessed with him. May his memory be a blessing.

  25. Erin – I was a friend of Megan’s in college and have been following your blog for a while now. I am so deeply saddened to hear of Connor’s passing. You and your family have touched the lives of so many people. I will be sure to continue kindnessforconnor in memory of your brave son. Sending you and your family my deepest sympathy and prayers.

  26. Erin, I have been following your blog since the day your mom told me Connor and Claire were born. My heart is broken for you!! No sadness is greater than losing a child. I marvel at your strength, and am in awe of all that you have done, and been through with such grace. May God keep you, and Casey, and Claire in His care. We already know He has Connor with Him, smiling down on those he left behind, and always watching over them! My prayers are with you and your family… I wish you peace!!

  27. Erin, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boy, Connor. My heart is breaking for you and your family. Your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. My daughter, Meredith , went to college with Erin, and since we had lost a child she wanted us to read your beautiful blog. Words can not express how deeply I shared your pain and how blessed I was to follow your journey. Your son was and continues to be wrapped up in your love. You need to know this. Someday Claire will hold her own child in her arms, and you will be filled with joy. I wish that I could somehow repay you for your gift of letting me in on this magical and bittersweet process. You are in my thoughts. Connor is at peace, of this sure. There will come a day when you, too, shall feel the peace that your precious son would wish for you.

  29. I’m in tears and I don’t even know you guys… Sorry for your loss…There’s so much evil and craziness in the world that sometimes I think God spares the good ones. Stay strong for your daughter and loved ones for Connor. And thank you for sharing your story with us. Know you are in a strangers prayers. Xo

  30. Erin, words cannot express how sorry I am. You and Casey have strength beyond compare. May you all take comfort that Connor is at rest and not suffering. He was one strong boy! Heaven sure gained a very special angel today who will watch over Claire. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Casey, Claire and the rest of your family during this difficult time. RIP Sweet boy. xoxo

  31. Fly high sweet boy.

    Your family has been on my mind nonstop these last few days, which is striking to me because I do not know you. I am praying for you. My deepest sympathies on your loss. May God hold you in His hand.

  32. I don’t know you or your family but my heart is broken for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you today and always. Fly high.

  33. Words cannot express how truly sorry I am for your loss. Your little boy taught us how to live – with love, laughter, kindness, and courage. I will think of him and smile whenever I see a balloon floating in the sky…

  34. I went to Muhlenberg with Megan and have been following your blog and praying for your family for some time now. Words are not adequate to express how sorry I am for your unimaginable loss. I hope it eventually brings you some comfort knowing that Connor’s story has touched and provided perspective to so many. Your entire family’s bravery is inspiring. Praying you all continue to find strength and peace during this awful time.

  35. Dearest Erin, Casey and Claire,
    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss! Connor was an amazing little boy and fighter! He has touched more lives than most people manage in a lifetime. His spirit will live on in Claire and please know that he has taught us all how precious life truly is. Your strength as a family has inspired us all and reminded me to cherish each day because we do not know what is ever around the corner. I know Connor is looking down on all of you from heaven and is flying high! Sending love and prayers your way during this time. 💙

  36. There are no real words. I do know that your little boy has touched so many lives.

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  37. Your family is in my thoughts and my heart breaks for you. Connor was an angel on earth and today he received his wings. Flying high, no longer in pain. I’ve followed your story since Disney. You are a very special family and have endured a lot and have done so with such grace. Below is a poem that brought me comfort when I lost my mother and I hope it brings you some comfort.

    You can shed tears that she is gone
    or you can smile because she has lived.

    You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
    or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
    or you can be full of the love you shared.

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
    or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

    You can remember her and only that she’s gone
    or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

    You can cry and close your mind,
    be empty and turn your back
    or you can do what she’d want:
    smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

  38. I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for all of you during this time. May God give you the strength to get through all of this. Know that Connor is at peace and watching over all of you. Your story of love, strength and faith is an inspiration to so many!

  39. Conner will forever be in our hearts. He is an inspiration to all who knew him and he will live on in your memories and heart. We are sending you love and prayers.

  40. I saw your story posted on a friends Facebook page and have been checking it every since. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. As a mom
    Of two I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I hope you find some peace in the coming weeks and months. God Bless your little boy. Praying for your family.

  41. Praying for your family as you adjust to life with Conner watching over you as an angel. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that no words or acts can heal the pain you are feeling right now, but know people from near and far are touched deeply by Connor and your family’s story! I know Claire now has a guardian angel watching over and protecting her.

  42. I am heartbroken for you. May God give you comfort and peace until you are reunited with your precious son, Connor. ♡

  43. Words escape me at this moment and my heart aches for you at this terribly painful time in your lives. I am so so sorry for your loss of your sweet little baby boy, he has been an incredible inspiration just as you’ve always said and a true blessing who taught us to remember what is important in life.
    I know while he may rest in peace that your hearts are shattered and empty, and I’m so sorry that you have to endure such sadness.
    You, Casey and Claire and your families will continue to remain in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers. I will pray for your peace and strength.
    Know that your angel and his memory will forever remain in our hearts. xoxo

  44. Your sweet, gentle boy lives in so many hearts… even though we are all heartbroken at this tearful moment. Thank you for sharing the pain and the joy of your journey… our thoughts are with you as well on the journey ahead.

  45. Dear Casey, Erin, and Clair, my heart cries for you..Thank you for.sharing your little boy and girl with me! He was a treasure . I know he has left a impact on all of everyone’s life that he has somehow touched. I will continue to pray for all of you as you go through this grieving process, that our Father in heaven will surround you with his loving arms at this time of need and you will feel his love..

  46. I am so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Families are forever. Until you meet again. Rest easy sweet angel.

  47. We are incredibly heartbroken and so sorry for your loss. We prayed last. Ight and will pray again for the Crooks family. How much you have endured….more than anyone should. May you find peace that he is resting pain free now. God bless you all.

  48. Prayers for you today and forever. I’m in awe at the grace, beauty, and love of your family. The love and strength you have shown in every heartbreaking decision along this journey is inspiring. Wishing you all comfort and peace.

  49. I know there aren’t words that can make all this go away or reverse it. My heart is so broken but I know that little Connor is in a much better place right now without the pain and suffering. I didn’t have the privilege to actually meet Connor in person, but somehow his story and your words made it feel as though I did and every day it became harder for me to hold back my tears. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of hugs.

  50. I have no words to express the sadness I feel for your family, no words to express how many I’m sorry’s. Please know that your family has touched so many peoples lives. Connor has left a legacy well beyond his years. Rip Super Con

  51. Connor’s journey has taught us a lot about strength, kindness and love. I am so sorry for your loss. Erich’s mommy and family.

  52. I extend to you my deepest and most heartfelt condolences. Although I never met Connor I came to love him. His fight touched all of us. This sweet child will never be forgotten.

  53. Words cannot express how sad I am for you and your family. Connor’s strength and kindness has taught many a life’s lesson. You are all in my prayers.

  54. So sorry for your loss. While there are no words, please know Connor has touched so many lives. Young and old. Near and far. And please also know I think you are an amazing mom. I hope to have half your strength in the time of adversity and loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  55. Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

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