Today I saw a memory post that reminded me of an incident a few years ago. Something simple, that sent me down the rabbit hole of grief. 


Four years ago, my son came out to tell me his bathroom shower faucet was broken.  And I knew I was the only person able to fix it.  And I HATE that I was the only person in my house to fix that f*cking faucet.  I didn’t want to do it alone.  I wanted Jared to be here to fix the damn faucet.  I’m not supposed to be a solo mom.  A team of one. This is not how I envisioned my life.  And just like that, I went down the rabbit hole.  And all because of a broken faucet.  


Even now, almost 7 years later, something as simple as a broken faucet can send me down the rabbit hole of grief. Even though I am remarried and now have a parenting partner, there are times I still feel like a solo mom. Times I still feel like I’m doing it alone. Times I worry that Jared would be disappointed. So many times I think what would Jared say? Being remarried, finding new love didn’t bring an end to my grief. In some ways, it adds to it.


Being remarried brings its own issues. Its own grief triggers. Yes, I am happy with Jon. But at the same time I miss Jared.  And that makes me feel guilty. New love and this new blended family life is different for me. And for Steven. We have never done this before. It is uncharted territory.  And I can’t help but think if I am struggling with finding balance, what must Steven be going through?  What must Jon be feeling?  Sometimes I find myself pushing Jon away because I’m afraid he will leave. And that thought terrifies me. Pushing love away because I’m scared of losing someone else. Damn grief. 


And despite my pushing, my new husband is amazing. Tries to share the load. Is a wonderful father. But I still miss Jared. Wish Steven‘s dad were here to see him. Here to help. Here to guide him. And that feeling will never go away. No matter how long Jon and I are married or how old Steven gets, I will always miss Jared. Wish Jared were here to help take care of, love, and nurture our boy. And Jon knows that. And more importantly, he is OK with it. He understands it. He is never jealous of Jared. In fact, he honors our grief.  And in his own way misses and loves Jared too.  He says Jared will always be a part of our family.


No matter how far out I am, I need to figure out how to deal with the grief triggers. Navigate the rabbit hole. How to manage my emotions without spiraling out of uncontrol.


All these emotions because of a memory of a broken bathroom faucet.  And yes, I know the faucet isn’t the problem. It was just the portal that led me down the rabbit hole.


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.