Two dying writers documented their closing days then their spouses fell in love

In a story that sounds fit for a fairytale, the widow and widower of two authors who wrote popular memoirs about dying young have fallen in love.

reports that Lucy Kalanithi and John Duberstein have found solace in each other after the untimely deaths of their spouses.

Lucy Kalanithi’s late husband, Paul Kalanithi, penned the memoir about his last years before succumbing to lung cancer at the age of 37.

It was published posthumously in 2016, a year after his death, to critical acclaim and commercial success.

John Duberstein went through a similar loss with the untimely death of his 39-year-old wife, Nina Riggs, after a battle with breast cancer.

And like Lucy, John’s wife also left him something dear – a memoir written about her final years and her fight with the disease, titled .

Also published posthumously, in 2017, The Bright Hour received critical acclaim and commercial success, similar to When Breath Becomes Air.

Unsurprisingly, the two books were often mentioned together – in reviews, lists, and conversations, according to .

And now the widow and the widower have found comfort, and companionship, in each other.

On their heartwarming but bittersweet relationship, Lucy said: “I’m still surprised. I am surprised by how ridiculous it is and natural it is at the same time.”

But it seems the couple have John’s late wife Nina to thank – and the thought she put into ensuring her husband would not spend his life alone.

While nearing the end of her short life, Nina told her husband to reach out to Lucy – because she has experience with this.

John eventually did – and over the next few weeks Lucy became his lifeline for handling the grief and everything else that comes after the loss of a loved one.

Over the course of the next few months, the two wrote hundreds of emails – before finally meeting in-person in April.

The chemistry was undeniable and by the time summer rolled around, the couple had decided to tell their friends and family about the relationship.  

It looks like happily ever after does exist.


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