When Jared died, I counted the months he had been gone.  I hated the 16th of every month. And if the 16th happened to be a Tuesday, it was a double whammy.

Then at the end of October 2016, I realized that October 16th passed and I didn’t even notice.  For the first time since Jared died, I didn’t notice the date. It didn’t register that it was 25 months since Jared went home.  For the first time, I didn’t make a post on social media counting the months. AndI felt guilty. How could I let the 16th of a month pass and not even notice?  How could I just stop counting the months since my love had earned his wings? Then I realized it was because I no longer needed to count the months. I was healing.  I realized my new life was blossoming and I was finally starting to accept that.

I remember the first Tuesday that wasn’t terrible.  You see, Jared died on a Tuesday and I hated every Tuesday after that for months.  The first Tuesday that wasn’t awful caught me completely by surprise. I wasn’t prepared to stop hating Tuesdays but I guess my soul was. And now, the 16th of the month doesn’t send me over the cliff of grief.   


I am surprised at how far I have come.  I made huge strides those first 2 years.  And even more the lady 2. I know some will say about time and others will question how I can have moved forward already.  I have learned that no one knows my grief journey but me and that I can’t try to please others. Instead I have to focus on healing myself.  I have to trust in God’s plan for me and that His plan includes moving forward and living a new life just as full of adventures as my life before.

Accepting my new life does not mean I will ever forget Jared. It doesn’t mean that I will stop celebrating his birthday.  It doesn’t mean that I will stop honoring his life. It doesn’t mean I will stop loving him. It doesn’t mean that my heart will forget the pain of September 16, 2014.  Or all the days that came after. I will always love Jared. I will always wish he was still here with us. I will always say Jared would have loved this or I wish Jared could see this.  Moving forward and making a new life doesn’t mean I will forget my old life. Life will forever be marked as before and after. My heart will always have a scar and have a section reserved just for Jared.  My soul will always remember him and how his love made me feel. His love made me who I am today. His love gave me the strength to continue when I just wanted to die. His love encourages me to continue to make each day count.  His love for me is shaping my future. Our love will always be a part of my story.

As I forge on in this new life I am nervous. I am scared.  This is uncharted territory. I have no road map for this trip to my future. I know Jared will be with me and gently nudge me in the right direction.  Our love will guide me. And when I stumble and fall, Jared will laugh his mischievous laugh and tell me to get back up and keep going. This new ride isn’t going to be a smooth one but I hope I am ready for bumps and all the twists and turns.

Who knew no longer counting the days on the calendar could have so much meaning?


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.