People tell me you are so strong, I don’t know how you do it. My response to them is I didn’t have a choice. When someone you love more than life itself dies, no one gives you the choice to stop living.  


Trust me, I wanted to give up.  Stop living.  I didn’t want to face life without Jared.  


But I had a child to take care of, bills to pay, and a promise to keep.   


So I got out of bed each day to live my new normal the best way I am. 


As I try to move forward in this new life, I will always honor my past. Part of moving forward is bringing Jared with me. His love for me shaped who I am today. As did his death. . 


I talk about him because I never want anyone to forget him.  And when others talk about him, it doesn’t make me sad, it makes me smile.  It lets me know others love him and will never forget him either. I keep his picture in my house because he will always be a part of our lives.  He is still our son’s father. Just because Jared is no longer on this earth, doesn’t mean he is no longer a dad. Our son deserves to hear stories of his dad, see pictures of his dad, and know his dad loved him more than anything. Jared will always be part of our family.


And no, I will never be over it. Grief comes in waves. And I try to surf the grief waves as best I can. Yes, I have maInly good days now.. But I still have bad days or at least bad moments on a good day. And I always will. That is how grief works.  So no, I won’t get over it.  And I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.


I would never wish this on anyone. I belong to a club no one wants to join. But, having joined this group taught me that life is short.  Life is precious.  Life is meant to be lived. So even in the height of my grief, I knew I needed to live. Live for me, live for my son, and live for Jared.  Living is the best way I can honor Jared and his life. Living each day is a privilege denied to many. And it is a gift that has been given to me.  A gift I am grateful for and never want to  take for granted.


This is my new life, the life I was handed when Jared died. 


I’m not strong. I’m just surviving, living.  It is my only option. 


I’m not strong. I’m simply doing the best I can.


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.