“They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite”― Cassandra Clare
Well, I’m still alive. Sometimes I’m unsure how, but I am. I am still living, breathing, and going through the motions. It’s honestly hard to believe it’s been 4 months. I don’t know how I’ve survived this pain so far, but I’m doing it.
In the last 4 months I have lost more than just a son. I lost a few friends I thought would be in my life forever, I lost my tolerance of ignorance, and I also lost the majority of social media (which has surprisingly been lovely). I’ve learned to live with just being okay, and I’ve learned to live with a shattered heart. I would give the world to have Kellan back with me.
I told my counselor on Friday that I think it was easier when I was sad and numb all of the time. At least I knew how I was going to feel. Now I still think of Kellan nonstop, but there are more moments I can handle it. And then there are moments that I am so pained I can’t breathe. I never know when the pain will strike me. It sucks.
I think about my birthing experience every single day. It’s mentally exhausting sometimes. It haunts me. One of these days I will share my experience. Not today.
In the last week and a half a lot has happened.
The Mothers of Angels walk was on the 26th. Before it started, some wonderful girlfriends of mine from Kansas City sent me the sweetest video. They got together and did a walk for Kellan that morning. I can’t explain how much this meant to me. They took the time to organize and put this together, just for my son. How special. So many pictures were sent to me from my friends in Kansas City, Topeka, and honestly all over the country of kindness and love that was spread over the month. Even from hundreds of miles away, the support I have is so strong.
The walk event was truly incredible, but also very overwhelming. I wasn’t expecting it to be like that. As Scott and I stood there with my parents shortly before the walk started, something very special happened; the Wings staff and players, and even a few of the player’s parents started walking in. We were absolutely blown away and so surprised. Instead of leading the walk with just the 4 of us, we were followed by our huge hockey family.
I will never forget the feeling seeing them walk in to support us.
I ended my month at work with some of the most successful numbers I’ve had in a while. It felt great, especially considering how scared I was to return to work.
On one of the last days of the month, I decided to go to a favorite business of mine to visit. I was a little nervous to see the owner for the first time. You see, her daughter had been pregnant at the same time as me, and had a very difficult pregnancy. I knew she would have a grandchild to talk to me about, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that. I also knew I was going to have to tell her about Kellan. But I wanted to see her, because she’s a wonderful person that I always enjoy visiting with. I decided I was going.
So as we talked and caught up on all we’d been up to, surprisingly to me, her grandchild and Kellan didn’t come up. I wasn’t going to bring either up, I had learned better. And then she shared with me, her granddaughter had passed away 4 months after being born prematurely. My heart sank. I told her about Kellan, and we shared stories.
I was blown away. I realized that day, yet again, I am not alone. You really have no clue what is happening in someone’s life.
Halloween was way worse than I had anticipated. I was really looking forward to Kellan’s first Halloween. I’ve always loved Halloween, and I would have loved dressing him up. I wanted to make him a hockey player in a penalty box. Or maybe a sloth. Maybe he would have been both and had a costume change mid-day, because let’s be real, my son would have been a little extra.
Scott left town for work, and my parents had to leave town as well. So there I was all alone, on this day I had looked forward to for so many months while pregnant. I knew it was going to suck horribly, but I also knew I could get through it.
I started the day with Random Acts of Kindness. I then did all of the things I would have done on Halloween normally. I got each of our new neighbor kids, and Scott’s co-worker’s kids custom Halloween bags with special treats for them. I then bought lots of Halloween treats for the kids who would visit our new home. I put the treats in a basket with a note that said “Happy Halloween, help yourself” and set it outside.
I have always loved Halloween, and I wasn’t going to not participate because I was sad. I just did what I could. I then sat inside, cooked myself dinner, and tried to avoid the baby pictures on my Snapchat. I cried when I had to.
Life is hard. But I got through it, and I’m proud of myself for that.
I want to end this post with a happy story though, because through my sadness, there is still love. There is still kindness.
Scott and I have been together for about 10 years now, and I’ve been in Marketing the entire time. I always tell him, you haven’t made it until you’re on the front page of the paper – above the fold. So I honestly always joke about it, because in the Marketing/PR world, this was ingrained in my brain.
When Erin from Aberdeen American News approached me about doing a story on #KellanKares, I was so honored. I had lunch with a friend that week, and had told her it would probably be somewhere random in the paper, but I could care less. I was just thrilled they were going to talk about my sweet little boy and his legacy.
When I woke up the Friday before the walk, to my surprise I had an alert on my phone from the newspaper app with the story about Kellan! I opened my app more excited than ever, to find the Kellan story on THE FRONT PAGE ABOVE THE FOLD. My amazing, remarkable, life-changing little boy had made it. In a little over 3 months, he had made such a strong mark in this world, he was front page, above the fold. And I feel beyond blessed that I get to be his mom.
My favorite thing about this story, is how real and true Erin wrote it. She could have easily made it all about the happy parts of #KellanKares, but she shared my reality. I can never thank her enough for telling our truth. Here’s the link to the article – you do have to be a subscriber, but it’s for sure worth the 99 cents for a 24-hour subscription: https://www.aberdeennews.com/news/local/langer-uses-loss-of-her-baby-to-raise-awareness-remembrance/article_1568a511-00cb-5664-a614-298a75e3cdd4.html
And as promised, I created a very special video to showcase the #KellanKares movement. Oh, and to introduce the newest piece to his legacy….(it’s at the end)….
So get ready world, Kellan Albert Langer still has a large mark to make. The Kellan Kares Foundation is coming soon. Stay Tuned.