My life right now is In chaos. My new husband moved in last week. And that has turned my world into a tailspin. My emotions are all over the place. My stomach is in knots. I feel like I don’t know if I’m coming or going.  


I feel caught between two worlds. I want to start my new life with my new husband. Enjoy snuggling with him on the couch at night. Fall asleep with my head on his shoulder. Know he can help pick up the slack at home when I am busy. But at the same time I feel guilty. Those are all the things Jared used to do. He was my partner in life. It was his lap I laid my head on when we watched a movie. It was his chest I fell asleep on every night.


I’m excited to start my life with my new husband. To begin our future. To finally live under one roof. But part of me feels like I’m saying goodbye to my life with Jared. I don’t want to feel like I am leaving Jared behind.  I need to find a way to balance both of my worlds. To love my life with new husband. Enjoy the present. Be excited about our future. All while honoring my past. Remember the joy Jared brought into my life. Be grateful for the 16 years we shared together.


For the first time since Jared‘s death, I will have another man in the role of my husband on a daily basis. Another man will be in the role of father figure with my son.  Another man will live in our house. We will no longer be a family of two but an instant family of four. That’s a lot of change. A lot of moving forward. A lot of looking into the future.


And I’m freaking out.  I feel like I have no control. And the lack of control sends me into a tailspin. I don’t know whether to scream or jump for joy. Maybe I need to do both.


I am blessed that my new husband supports my never ending relationship with Jared. Understands that my love for Jared will never end. Tells me to take the time to sit with Jared. Encourages me to find my inner peace. Knows that I can love two men at the same time. That while I am fearful of losing what was, I am excited about what will be. 


When you’ve been alone, a solo mom, the only decision maker for five years, it is difficult to allow someone else in. To start asking someone else’s opinion. To make joint decisions. To share the world that you have fought so hard to create. To once again be vulnerable.


I barely survived Jared‘s death. I fought so hard to get to where I am today. To become this independent woman who can survive on her own. And now, I’m letting someone new in. Depending on someone else again. And my biggest fear? What if he dies and I have to learn to do it by myself all over again?  Can I survive a second time? Can I pick myself up and put the pieces of my life back together again? I don’t know. And I pray I never find out.


Jared‘s death, made me who I am today. And while it made me fearless, independent, adventurous, it also made me leary of ever feeling that kind of pain again. Falling in love, getting married, inviting a new man into our world, I am taking the risk of feeling that pain again. And it is terrifying. But love is worth it. Love is worth the fear of the unknown. 


This is my world.  Old and new. Past and future. Death and Life.  This is the duality of loss. Always knowing that with the sweet, comes a small amount of bitter. That with new joy, comes just a little bit of grief.  That moving forward includes honoring my past. That while I will experience the wonder of new love, my first love will be tucked away safely in my heart.


My new husband moving into our home, has thrown me for a loop. I didn’t expect the emotional upheaval that his move would bring. I thought since we have been married for a year, I had it under control. I knew just how to handle it. Boy was I wrong. Now I need to take the time, sort through the emotions, and do the grief work. Get to a place where I can balance my new life and my old one. Be excited about the future and smile at the memories.  Live in both worlds without feeling caught in the middle. Embrace my new life with my love all while knowing I never forget my first love.   


My world is in chaos. But maybe that’s just to let me know that everything is about to fall in place.


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.