When my late husband, Jared died I swore I’d never date again.  Never fall in love. And would certainly never marry again. And if I did it would be after my son was grown.


Twenty six months after Jared died I met Jon on a cruise ship.  It was completely random. We connected. Laughed. And enjoyed each other’s company.  But I wasn’t sure if it would amount to anything. Fast forward a year and he proposed.  Exactly one year after our chance encounter, he asked me to be his wife. And I, without hesitation, said yes.


But before he proposed, when we were talking about getting married, I had some reservations.


Could I open my heart to love like that again? Could I risk knowing my heart could be broken?  I decided yes I could. The heart has an amazing capacity to love. And I didn’t want to walk away from such love. I was willing to risk being hurt to find my happily even after.


What if he got sick? What if he died?  I thought back to my time with Jared. I wouldn’t have a changed a thing. The pain I felt after his death was definitely worth the love we shared. So if Jon got sick, if Jon died, I knew I would never regret the choice to love him.


What if  people thought I was forgetting Jared?  Marrying Jon did not mean I was forgetting Jared. He will always be a part of my life. I will always carry him in my heart. But I wanted people to know that. People to understand that I could love two men. And that marrying Jon did not in anyway extinguish my love for Jared. People are not replaceable.  New love doesn’t end old love.


What about my son? Could I let someone else help me parent him? My son has an amazing dad. He just happens to live in heaven. And I wanted to make sure that Jon understood that. That he could be Steven’s dad on earth and he and Steven could have their own bond, their own relationship but Jared would always be his dad.  Jon is so patient. So kind. My son couldn’t ask for a better dad on earth.


What about his daughter? Would she be accepting of me and our relationship? Would I be able to love her and treat her like my own? And I realize that yes, I could love her. I could welcome her into my life, into my family. I could be her bonus mom and all that it entails. The rest I could not control. The rest was up to her.


Would it be easy?  F*ck no. It would be anything but easy.  It would be hard work. Harder than I ever dreamed. If someone had clued me in on just how hard long distance marriage and blending a family would be, I might have run screaming in the other direction.  


Would it be worth it? Absolutely!  Without a doubt. Loving and being loved by Jon is without a doubt worth all the heartache and tears.


Would our two families feel like one overnight?  Hell no. We’ve been married 9 months and we still don’t know what we’re doing.  We make mistakes. But we keep trying. When will we feel like a family? Not his and hers but ours?  I have no idea. I just hope someday we do.


Deciding to jump into a new relationship wasn’t easy.  Deciding to open my heart to love again, to remarry doesn’t mean I don’t miss Jared. Or wish he was still here.  It just means I decided to move forward with my life. To open my heart to new adventures, new love.. Love post loss was completely uncharted territory for me. Knowing my heart could be broken was a very real risk.  But it was a risk I decided to take. And while it hasn’t been easy or perfect, I wouldn’t change it. My new husband is perfect for me. Perfect for this time in my life. I can’t wait to see what our future holds.



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.