Neurosurgeon and author Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 35, and given a very short amount of time left to live. He published several memoirs in the New York Times, and ultimately collected them into a book called When Breath Becomes Air, which was published by Random House shortly after his death at 37. He left behind his wife, Lucy, and their daughter, Elizabeth.
Strangely enough, this is a largely similar experience to that of Nina Riggs, an American author and poet. You see, Riggs had published her own memoir of her battle with breast cancer, called The Bright Hour, which was also published shortly after her death at the age of 39. She left behind her husband, John, and their two sons, Freddy and Benny.
So why is the similarity between these two so important? Well, it’s because their former spouses not only went through quite a bit of grief, but ultimately found new hope and new love… by seeing each other.