the new normal

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:

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:

Kellan’s outfits picked with love, sewn together with love, for those who love him.

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.

Published by Tiffany Langer

Professional in Marketing, Leadership, and Business. Married to a hockey coach....and the game. So I suppose I'm a Professional Coach's Wife as well. Mom to one perfect little boy in heaven, Kellan.

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  1. All the love in the world girl ♥️♥️♥️♥️🖤🖤🖤thank you for being one of the most amazing human beings on earth 🌎 💙I love Kellan and I love you soooooooo much you inspire me every day of my life💜

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  2. Thanks for sharing your Bears with us! Rebecca has a heart of gold and is such a good seamstress! Sometimes… every day will be a slightly different new normal… thanks for sharing your journey ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tiffany, I just want you to know that the this hockey family in Topeka thinks about you and your family often. I hate that your son passed away but I look forward to reading your blog. My husband and I have 4 children (2 of which play for the junior Pilots). We have never experienced the pain you’re going through losing a child so we can’t imagine what it feels like. Just know that we think about you often and wish you and Scott the best. I would be curious to know how he is handling the loss of sweet Kellan, as I’m sure it’s not easy on him either. All of our best! The Davis’

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  4. Beautiful thoughts Tiffany! The bears are such a loving gesture, I am glad you feel comfort with them. I believe Kellan is alive in heaven and always in your heart!!
    XXOO always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love hearing about Kellan!! I think it’s wonderful to hear things about him and your feelings about him. Love these bears. Thank God for people that do this kind of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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