Counseling. Yes or no?

For me, it was a definite yes.

When my late husband died, I immediately sought out counseling for my son and myself. I wanted us to have someone to help guide us through the difficult process that was coming. I needed someone to help me learn how to be a solo parent. To figure out my own grief while parenting a grieving child.  Someone to help me not screw up my son.

And I’m so thankful I did.

For me, counseling was necessary.

It helped me process my grief.  Helped me do the necessary grief work.  Helped me navigate this crazy thing called widowhood.  

Provided me with resources to help me better understand my child’s grief.  Provided me with support in parenting a grieving child. Provided me with support I didn’t even know I needed.  

And I found Camp Widow.  A place full of people just like me.  A group of people who get it. Understand the need to cry or laugh or both. Provided workshops that are just what I need. I will attended my 6th Camp Widow last weekend.

My son also found kids just like him.  And now has his own support group. Knows he’s not alone.  And he is a resource for other kids.

We attended counseling for about a year and we were doing pretty well.  So we stopped counseling and continued with our support groups.

Then 2 years ago, I began a serious relationship, And a year ago, I remarried.  And everything changed. My new love life once again changed our lives. Changed our dynamic.  So back to counseling we went. My son stayed in counseling for about a year. And I am still in counseling.  Being a remarried widow is hard work. And I need all the help I can get.

Being a long distance married couple is hard.  Trying to blend a family with monthly visits and occasional vacations is even harder.  And I’m not too proud to admit I need help to navigate this uncharted territory. To give me the tools to be a loving wife and stepmother.

For me, counseling is a definite yes.

For others it may a hard no.

But I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who has suffered a loss.  Who is grieving. Who is trying to navigate in a suddenly strange world.

Counseling: Yes or No?  It’s a personal decision.


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.