Being a widow can really suck.  

Watching your husband die sucks

Telling your child their dad died and is never coming home sucks.

Having to move forward because their is no other option sucks.

Death sucks.  And it sucks for a long time.

But life can be good again.  If you choose for it to be.


Many months after my late husband Jared died, I knew it was time to live,  Live for me. Live because he couldn’t. Live because my son needed to know life is a precious gift.   


I had done the grief work (still do).  Taken the time to honor the healing space I needed (still do that too).  Decided that widow was a badge of honor. I was someone’s forever love and not everyone can say that.  I still have bad moments but I don’t usually have bad days anymore. I try to think of Jared with a smile instead of tears.  I’m grateful for the years God gave us together instead of being angry that our time was cut short. I love seeing him live on in our son.  


Jared will always be a part of our lives, but I knew he couldn’t be my reason anymore.  I had to find my own purpose. Figure out who I am now. I knew it was time to be happy again.  To laugh. To enjoy the world around me. I remember the first time I laughed. Really laughed, not the social because I have to laugh.  And I felt so guilty. But I also remember much later when I laughed and it felt good. I knew I was ready. Ready to face life, whatever that entailed.  


My son and I took amazing vacations.  We spent holidays and summers exploring new places.  Some close to home and some far away. From Wyoming to Dubai we didn’t let anything stop us.  We lived. We laughed. And we loved. I loved the healing I saw taking place in each of us. I loved the bond we were creating.  I loved the zest for life we both were feeling.


And I knew that no matter how much widowhood and solo parenting sucked, life was good again.  Yes, it was hard. Harder than anything I ever imagined. But our new life, our new normal did not have to suck.  Because living life felt good, felt right.


Seeing the light return to my son’s eyes definitely did not suck.  

Feeling happy, smiling with my eyes, and truly laughing did not suck.  

Knowing I could survive anything because I had survived the unimaginable did not suck.  

Life was good again.  Because I choose for it to be.



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.