But what happens when you give yourself time to heal, and find someone else to share your life with?
Yesterday, brave Redditors flocked to the social media platform to share their difficult stories, each vocalising one consistent truth: it is bittersweet.
‘Cancer wasn’t part of the plan.’
“I married my college sweetheart,” writes ‘ShineBrine’. “We bought a house, made plans, didn’t include cancer in that plan, and I lost her after six years of marriage, and an additional nine years of being pals, friends, best friends then dating.”
But three years later, the anonymous man came across someone “amazing, smart, witty, resourceful, beautiful and passionate”. They married a year later.
That was 14 years ago. While the Redditor still feels the pain of losing his first wife, he says it’s not in a debilitating way as it once was. The grief is something his wife might not understand, but respects.
"My wife appreciates that my first wife was part of what moulded me into the person I am today," he added.
"But both of our lives are better together and better because of where we each came from. It's a beautiful thing."
"And somehow I know that my first wife would have been really good friends with my wife if she had known her."
'My partner tries to understand, but he can't.'
For 'PearlRedwood', it took a few years to recover from the loss of her husband, who died in 2012.
"It was hard," she wrote. "But eventually I moved to a new city, found a job and made a new life. I'm 33 now and I live with my SO, we're not married but talking about it."
Still, PearlRedwood thinks about her husband daily.
"I miss him. I love him," she explained. "My SO tries to understand but he can't, which is OK. He doesn't like talking about past and likes focusing on the future. That's why I keep my past to myself but I also keep it close."