And let me tell you, it’s not easy – but I’m doing it.
“Grief changes shape, but it never ends.”-Keanu Reeves
This time of my life is very strange. I suppose if I had to fit it into one of the stages of grief, you could call it “acceptance”. Except I never felt as though I didn’t accept Kellan’s death. It’s just a very weird feeling.
I guess I am living my “new normal”.
My husband left today for Blaine, Minnesota for the NAHL Showcase Tournament. It’s my favorite tournament, and one I attend every season. This year, I was extra excited about going. About getting to bring Kellan. Starting his tradition of being there every year.
After he died, I didn’t want to go anymore. I wasn’t sure I could face it. But I am going. I can’t stop doing everything I love because the tasks are hard. I can do it. It will be a situation where I wonder who knows and who doesn’t. I will be unsure if people are talking about me, or maybe they’ll have no clue. It will be scary and will take all of my energy to get through the day. But I will do it. I can do it.
Sometimes I can talk about Kellan without missing a beat. It’s almost like he’s alive and I’m just talking about my baby at home. And sometimes I can barely choke his name out. No matter how I am, it’s agonizing either way. But I want to talk about him. He needs to be talked about. He deserves it.
Please, if I talk about my baby with you, listen to me. Feel free to ask me questions and engage with me. If I am talking about him, I feel safe and I want to share him with you. Never think you’re making me feel uncomfortable talking about my son. If I cry, it’s ok. If you cry, it’s ok. If I change the subject or can’t talk about him in that moment, I will tell you. Just roll with it. I’m trying to figure it all out. I still don’t know how to navigate it all. Just know, I can usually talk about Kellan. I need to talk about him, even when it hurts.
I’m a work in progress, that’s for sure. But at least I’m working on it.
My mom asked me tonight how I handle it all throughout the day. How do I do it? I told her sometimes I feel like a robot. I’m just going through the motions and trying to eliminate my sadness to power through what I have to get done. Sometimes I think when I talk to people for the first time about Kellan, they have it harder than I do. I’ve been dealing with this everyday for the last 10.5 weeks, but they have to figure out how to handle me and their emotions in the moment. I’m sure it’s not easy.
I got one of the most remarkable gifts I’ve ever received in my life this past weekend. My co-worker offered to get a Kendal Bear made for me. I wasn’t sure what the bear was about, until the story was shared with me.
The original Kendal Bear was made to honor and remember Kendal Mae Breyfogle. Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) was the monster that took her from this world in September of 2017. The bear was made with her favorite things. Her favorite outfits, her lovey, even a piece of the dress she was laid to rest in. She is traveling thru life alongside her twin sister, siblings and parents.
Since then, the creator Rebecca has been asked to create many more Bears. You can learn more about Rebecca and her Kendal Bears by following her blog: https://kendalbear.home.blog/2019/08/22/welcome-to-my-blog/
When I learned exactly how special these bears were, I was so honored to be able to have one. I was unsure how I’d ever narrow down Kellan’s outfits to fit just one bear, and I knew a few other loved ones that may just need a bear for themselves. So I asked Rebecca if I could possibly purchase a few more bears….5 to be exact. And she said yes!
To my surprise, my co-worker and her family ended up purchasing all five bears for me. It was an overwhelming feeling. I am so loved. Kellan is so loved. Introducing my amazing, special, perfect, beautiful Kellan Kendal Bears:
I can’t explain what these bears mean to me. I have slept with my bear every single night since I have gotten him. What a special and priceless item. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, these bears make the most precious gift. It took me a while to be able to go through his outfits and put them together, but I am forever thankful I did. I just love them all so much.
Thank you Rebecca for what you do, and thank you Carrie for doing this for me. They are priceless. While I would give anything to hold my sweet Kellan again, these bears give me a tiny piece of that back. I will forever cherish them.
So I guess that’s where I’m at. In this weird phase of grief that I don’t really understand. Not like I’ve ever really understood any of it. I feel like I’m kind of at a stand still. I can’t decide if this is just what my new normal will feel like, or if it will get better. Or maybe it could get worse? That’s scary to think about, but I’ve accepted it’s a possibility. I suppose we will see.
For now, I’ll just keep pushing forward. Do my best.
I am very proud of myself for where I am today. I am living my new normal. I am living my truth. And let me tell you, it’s not easy – but I’m doing it.