When my late husband died, my world shattered.  Life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. 


I had to redefine myself.

Figure out who I was as a widowed, solo mom. 


And finding my new place didn’t happen overnight. 

It took time. Years in fact. 


While I was discovering what I wanted my life to be post loss, I met someone new.  And we fell in love and married.  And I continued to redefine myself.  Figured out my place in this world. 


I had to figure out who I was as a remarried widow blending a family. 

And that changes frequently.


There is no guidebook for life after loss.  There is no manual for love after loss. 


When my late husband was alive, I loved buying birthday cards, anniversary cards, all the sappy words to honor our love story. And now that has changed.


As a remarried widow, I hate buying anniversary cards. They all say something about not being able to live without you or starting a life and family together.  

And for my new marriage those sentiments do not apply. 


I know I can live without my new husband.  I don’t want to but I know I can. 

I’ve already done it once. 


And even though we started a new life together, we already had children.  So cards about watching our children grow don’t work for us either.


I haven’t found an anniversary card yet that says we met later in life, after we both had loved before and we were willing to open our hearts to love again. 


I haven’t found a card that says I choose you to help raise my child. I choose you to help make our two families one. 


I haven’t found one that says I don’t need you but I want you. I can do life without you but I don’t want to. 


I haven’t found one that says you may not have been my first love but I want you to be my last. Do you promise we will  grow old together?


As a remarried widow, I haven’t found the perfect card for love after loss. But I have found myself.


I found my new normal. My new place in this world. 


I found who I am. 


I am a remarried widow, raising my family, making memories, and taking grand adventures. I am the memory keeper.


After my world came crashing down, it took me a long time to discover who I wanted to be. And I finally have.



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.