Sunday will mark the sixth Father’s Day we have celebrated without Jared. I count my blessings that my son was able to celebrate 10 Father’s Days with his dad. But somehow that doesn’t feel like enough. 10 years that have to last my son a lifetime. Half of those years that he doesn’t remember because he was so young. 


It’s hard to believe it has been six years. It still feels like yesterday and forever all at the same time. Six years can feel like a lifetime.


Looking back, I wish I had made that last Father’s Day more special. As was our tradition, we celebrated with friends and had a wonderful time. But for the life of me, I cannot recall what we gave Jared that year for Father’s Day. I know we celebrated as a family. Laughed. A lot. But the actual specifics of the day, I can’t remember. His last Father’s Day on earth and I can’t remember the details. I know Jared felt loved and appreciated. But I wish I could remember all the little things. if I had known it was going to be our last one I would have made it the biggest Father’s Day celebration ever. And I would have  committed every detail to memory.


Even though he is no longer on this earth, we still celebrate Jared every year. Talk about him, remember him, and think about what we would be doing if you were still with us.  We honor him and the amazing father he was.  


Despite the tragic loss he suffered, my son knows he was fiercely loved by his dad. Steven used to always say “me and my dad.”  I would ask if you wanted to go somewhere with me and his first question was always is my dad going? And if the answer was no, Steven would stay at home with his dad. I’ve always wondered if there was a little part of him that knew his dad was sick and wasn’t going to live forever.  And he didn’t want to miss any of the time he could spend with Jared. 


When I remarried 2 years ago,Steven was fortunate to get an amazing stepdad. A stepdad who honors Jared’s place. Who always takes the time to mention him. Who frequently tells my son I know I’m not your dad but I love you and I’m here for you.  A man we will honor this Sunday for the role he plays in Steven’s life. 


This is the duality of loss.  Not just for me but also my son.  He loves his dad and misses him every day.  And at the same time, he loves Jon.  He knows loving one doesn’t diminish his love for the other.  He knows the heart is capable of infinite love.  And he knows tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so show others your love and appreciation today. 


Steven was blessed to celebrate 10 Father’s Days in person with his dad and will celebrate Jared on Father’s Day for the rest of his life.  Death does not end the love between a father and his son.  



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.