New Year’s Eve is one of the harder grief days for me. It is a reminder that another year has come and gone that didn’t know Jared. Another year that we didn’t make any new memories or take any new adventures.  Another year to remind me of the distance between us.  Another year to remind me of all he has missed.  Another year for memories to fade.  Another year to forget specifics.  One more year since our last.  Many see New Year’s Eve as a day to look forward to the future while honoring the past.  Make resolutions while forgiving past mistakes. Plan for tomorrow while remembering yesterday. A day of hope. For me it is those things.  But it is also a day of remembrance.  Of loss. It is a bittersweet day. 


My first New Year’s Eve without Jared, I was so lonely.  I was surrounded by people who loved me and yet felt all alone.  I blew kisses to heaven at midnight and wished desperately he could be there.  I couldn’t imagine a year that wouldn’t know Jared. A year we wouldn’t make new memories. 


The second year was even harder because I realized I would no longer be able to say “last year” when referring to Jared.  The 3rd year was a little easier but at the stroke of midnight my heart ached and missed the man who had kissed me for at midnight for 16 years. The fourth year, I married my new love and we celebrated with friends.  But at midnight I still thought of Jared. All the years we had celebrated before. And I blew kisses to heaven.  This year is one of the hardest so far.  Even though I’m remarried, I still miss my late husband. And I always will. 


My new husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary tonight.  Share a kiss at midnight. Look forward to the year ahead. And I will blow kisses to Jared in heaven.  Thankfully my new husband is not jealous and supports me in honoring and remembering Jared.  Even on our wedding anniversary.


As we ring in the New Year tonight, remember that this holiday is not an easy one for those that have suffered a loss.  While some are screaming Happy New Year and sharing a kiss with their someone special, others are longing for that person that isn’t by their side.  That person that will never have the opportunity to enjoy any day of the upcoming year. That person whose absence is greatly felt everyday but more so on this day.  


And some, like me, have found new love.  Have someone to kiss at midnight. But that doesn’t change the ache, the loss, the pain.  No matter how their life has moved forward, a piece of their heart still aches for the one who is missing.  


This is the duality of loss. Life as a remarried widow. Finding the balance. Living life today while never forgetting the past. Celebrating what is and what will be while never forgetting what was. Loving my new husband while missing my late husband.  Finding the joy in the New Year and remembering the past.  This is the duality of loss.



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.