2022 marks the 8th year that Jared will not know. Yet, I do my best to ensure each new year knows him. 


When we celebrated New Years Eve on December 31, 2013 I had no idea it would be our last. Or that as we toasted our future on January 1, 2014, that our life together would end nine months later. 


That first New Year was so daunting. The thought that a year would not know Jared. That we would not have any adventures together. Make any memories. The emotions were overwhelming. 


The second New Year’s Eve was even harder. Because I realized I would never again be able to say last year in reference to Jared. When Jared died in 2014, all through 2015 I could say last year. But in 2016, that was no longer an option. And for me, it made the realization that Jared was truly gone and never coming back, one I could no longer ignore. 


Each year has been a little better. Those first years I dreaded the new year celebration.  Now I actually look forward to it. Enjoy celebrating with family and friends. Toasting the blessings of the past year.  Cheering to the hope of the future. 


I have also learned that despite Jared not being physically present to ring in the new year, he is always there. 


I see him in our son’s eyes.

I hear him in our son’s laugh.


I feel him beside me, especially when I blow him kisses at midnight.


He is always with me. 


Even though we can’t make any new memories or take any new adventures, each new year year will still know Jared. Because we make sure he is never forgotten. 


We say his name. 

Keep his memory alive. 

Carry him in our hearts. 


Jared may not be here to kiss me at midnight but he is just a memory away. 



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.