What has death taught me?  

It taught me to stop saying someday.  None of us are promised tomorrow and we need to make each day “someday.”

It taught me to live each day to the fullest.  Because each day is a gift and should reach its full potential.  

It taught me to live without regrets.  To say I can’t believe I did not that instead of I wish I had done that.  

It taught me not to take people or moments for granted.  Instead to always say how I felt and live in the moment.

It taught me not to sweat the small stuff.  To not care about dirty dishes in the sink or dirty clothes on the floor. It taught me to look at the big picture instead.

It taught me not to wait for the right moment.  Instead to make any time the right time.

It taught me not to wait to take an adventure. To mark it on the calendar and make it happen.

It taught me to have my priorities in order.  To know what really matters because in the end, that’s what is important.

It taught me that fear is powerful and will steal your joy if you let it.  Instead stand up and look fear in the eye. Be fearless.

It taught me that my faith could be stronger than my grief.  Because without my faith I would not have survived the unimaginable.

It taught me to teach my child to live a life he can be proud of.  Because that is your legacy.

It taught me to love without reservation.  Because love shared is multiplied.

It taught me that life is finite.  So to make the most of the time you are given.

Even though I always knew I’d be a widow, I still took Jared and his love for granted.  Always expected we would have tomorrow. Even though we lived a lot adventures, there were still those things left for someday.  But he really did try to live his best life. To live each day to the fullest. His life and death taught me to the same.

What did death teach me?  A lot. And I’m still learning.


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.