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Husband of Sandy Hook victim still trying to process grief

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NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

It's been more than two months since the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, but for those who lost a loved one on that December morning, the heartbreak continues.

Bill Sherlach said he and his wife had their routine.

Every morning it would be the same.

But for some reason on the morning of Dec. 14, Sherlach did something different. He said 'I love you' like he meant it.

"She was coming across the kitchen floor and I grab her and I give her a big hug and we had a big kiss," Sherlach said. "Now, most mornings it's grab the coffee, out the door, what's on the schedule, but not that morning, not that morning."

Just a few hours later, Sherlach's wife of 31 years was dead. School psychologist Mary Sherlach was one of the six adult victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

On Friday, all six were awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal - one of the country's highest honor a civilian can receive.

"That's how we honor today courageous, heroic, the selfless spirit, the inspiring actions of extraordinary Americans," Sherlach said.

Sherlach said by the time they met in college, Mary had already decided she wanted to work helping people. She took some time off to raise their two daughters, but eventually got her master's in psychology and then her dream job at Sandy Hook.

Last week, for the first time, Sherlach visited the warehouse where the town's been storing cards and gifts for the victim's families that had been coming in from across the world.

"You catch yourself. I'll think, I wonder what Mary is going to think about this, and then it's 'Oh.' Like those big pink erasers you had in elementary school. Someone just went, just erased her," Sherlach said.

Sherlach said he's at a place where he can start to go through some of the card and gifts, although he said he's still a long way from accepting anything that's happened.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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