Today is Christmas Eve. 

And tomorrow is Christmas Day. 


Two days that can cause a lot of stress and grief for those who have lost a loved one. And just in case you need it, I’m giving you permission.


Permission  to do things differently.

Permission to not be OK. 

Permission to enjoy the holiday.


To take care of yourself. 

To honor your feelings. 

To put yourself first.


To opt out of obligations.

To say no to an invitation.

To leave early if you need to.


To talk about your loved one.

To say their name.

To keep their spirit alive.


To decorate or not.

To cook or not.

To exchange gifts or not.


To remember the joy of Christmas past.

To enjoy the magic of Christmas present.

To hope for the jubilation of Christmas future. 


Permission to make it through the holidays however best works for you.



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.