The last 6 years have been a journey for me.  A journey into grief. A journey of survival. A journey to living.  And on this journey of widowhood there has been much to learn. 


I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought possible.   I survived a fate worse than death. Yet here I am. Surviving, living, thriving.  Most days anyway. 


I’ve learned that I am worthy of love.   That I deserve the moon and stars and I won’t settle for less.  I am willing to open my heart to love and take a risk on finding a new love.  I want and deserve to be happy even after. And it starts with self love.


I’ve learned a pity party only gets you so far.   That being alone is not the same as being lonely. And that it is possible to be lonely in a room full of people.  I am now comfortable in my skin. And ready to face the world and it’s questions. I may not have all the answers but I’m willing to learn, explore to find the right answers for me.  And my answers may not be the right answers for anyone else and that’s ok. 


I have also learned to accept my faults.   I am nowhere near perfect but life’s too short to let that stop me from living. And I plan to live life to the fullest.  I want to look back and have little to no regrets on The life I chose to live. And I want to live it with those who love me.  Life is an adventure and I’ll be damned if I don’t live it. 


I have learned to laugh at myself as I stumble and fall.  And no matter what to always get back up. Pick myself up and keep going,  This journey is often a cha cha and I find myself taking two steps forward and one step back.  What’s important is that regardless of how many times I stumble, how many steps back I take that I always keep pushing myself in a forward motion.  


But most importantly, I have found peace within myself.  A knowledge that I have survived the unimaginable. That I am teaching my child that life and love do not end with death.  That we get to choose how we move forward. And that by choosing to add new memories, take new adventures, live life we are building our future.  And Jared would be proud. That by choosing to move forward, to find new life, new love and building a future I am keeping my promise. I am honoring Jared. 


This is not the life I signed up for, not the life I ever wished for. Yet it is the life I have been dealt.  And I plan to live it. Look out world…I’m just getting started. 


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.