Who knew that widowhood would prepare me for a pandemic? 


Many are wondering how will I survive? Is it OK to eat cereal for dinner? What am I going to do with all this time to myself?  When did I last shower?


But not me.  I don’t find myself questioning whether we will be OK or not. I don’t find myself worrying that we are having cereal for dinner. Or judging because I need an adult beverage at the end of the day.  I know it doesn’t matter if I shower everyday. I’m not wondering how I’m going to pay my bills. I’m not worried that I can’t survive time in isolation. 


Been there, done that, and I survived.


My widowhood taught me that I will absolutely survive. 


I have been through much worse and came out stronger on the other side. Widowhood prepared me for spending time alone.  Because for years, I spent the nights all by myself. It taught me that as long as there is food on the table, that’s good enough. That it is absolutely ok to have ice cream or cereal for dinner.  And while you shouldn’t use alcohol to run away from or numb your problems, there is nothing wrong with occasionally indulging. Not washing my hair every day isn’t a big deal, isn’t that why they make dry shampoo?  Because of my widowhood, I learned to live on a budget so I am able to pay the bills and make ends meet during this time of crisis. And I am blessed that I have a good job,to be considered an essential worker, and still bringing home a paycheck. That definitely helps ease the worries in this time of uncertainty. 


Being an essential employee means I have to figure out how to work and help homeschool my child. Share an office space with a teenager.  Juggle multiple balls at once. And because of my widowhood, I know how to do that. I know how to do multiple tasks at the same time. And I also know, but if occasionally a ball gets dropped, that’s OK. The world is not going to end. 


Who knew that 5 1/2 years later, I will look back and say thank you widowhood. Thank you for helping me be able to survive in a pandemic. To not panic. To know I got this.  I know I can do this because I have survived the unimaginable. Stay at home is nothing compared to widowhood.


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.