Sunday will be 4 years since my husband died.  

4 years.  

48 months.  

1460 days.

If you had asked me 4 years ago where I would be today, I would not have been able to give you an answer.  I couldn’t imagine surviving one day. Let alone four years. But I have survived. In fact, I’ve thrived.

When my husband first died, a part of me died too. The life that I had known for the past 16 years, died. In the blink of an eye I went from married to widowed. Widow, a word I could not even say out loud. A word I could not believe described me. A box I hated checking on any paperwork.

Overnight I went from having a partner to being solo. I went from being part of a couple to being alone.  All of a sudden, to society I was “single”. I went from having someone to help me raise my child to being a solo parent.  All of a sudden I was lonely in a room full of people.

I wasn’t sure how I would survive that first night. Let alone that first week, month, year.  There are days in that first year that I don’t remember. Days I’m not sure how I made it thru.  But somehow, by the grace of God I did survive.

The first year after he died, was all about Jared.  Remembering him. Honoring him. The second year I decided would be about me.  Discovering who I was and who I wanted to be. The third year, was all about adventure.  And I found unexpected love. Year four, I didn’t have a plan. I just jumped into life with both feet.  I said yes to love and became a remarried widow. I sold the house I shared with Jared to create a fresh start for our son. Year 5 will start with me honoring my late husband on his angelversary wearing someone else’s ring on my finger.

I’m not yet sure how I will handle all of my emotions on that day.  So many emotions. But time has taught me that I will survive the day.  And the next year.

Sunday will be 4 years since my world changed in the blink of an eye.  Four years since life as I knew it ceased to exist. Four years since my life was marked as before and after. Four years.  

Yes, my life is good again.  Yes, I am happy. Yes, I love my life now. But that doesn’t change the fact that four years ago my heart broke.  Four years ago my world came crashing down. Four years ago I didn’t think I would ever feel “normal” again.

Four years ago I could never have imagined that I would survive Jared’s death.  And even though a part of me died that day, I worked hard to put the remaining pieces back together.  I not only survived, I’m thriving. And I know Jared would be proud that I chose to honor him by living life to the fullest.   Four years ago, I couldn’t imagine a future. Now I know year 5 will be full of love, adventures, and laughter. And Jared will be smiling down on me as I live my best life. It’s the best way I know to honor him.



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.