'You May Want To Marry My Husband' Author Dies Of Ovarian Cancer

by Julie Scagell

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, best selling author and writer of viral Modern Love essay, died Monday

Chicago author Amy Krouse Rosenthal who millions have fallen in love with in recent weeks since her Modern Love essay “You May Want to Marry My Husband” went viral, died Monday morning. Rosenthal described her diagnosis in her essay, writing, “Want to hear a sick joke? A husband and wife walk into the emergency room in the late evening on Sept. 5, 2015. A few hours and tests later, the doctor clarifies that the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn’t the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer.”

Rosenthal and husband Jason, who were married for 26 years have three children; Justin, 24, Miles, 22, and Paris, 19. Rosenthal was an award winning writer, publishing more than 30 children’s books and before her Modern Love essay, was best known for her memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. Her husband Jason was the focus of her essay and in the piece, she created a “dating profile” of sorts in which their love story unfolds.

Jason is “an easy man to fall in love with. I did it in one day,” Rosenthal wrote. “Here is the kind of man Jason is: He showed up at our first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers. This is a man who, because he is always up early, surprises me every Sunday morning by making some kind of oddball smiley face out of items near the coffeepot: a spoon, a mug, a banana.”

Rosenthal believed the essay was “the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift” and her hope was that “the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.” “I didn’t know exactly what she was composing,” Jason, 52, said in a statement released to PEOPLE. “But I was with her as she labored through this process and I can tell you that writing the story was no easy task. When I read her words for the first time, I was shocked at the beauty, slightly surprised at the incredible prose given her condition and, of course, emotionally ripped apart.”

“I don’t have the same aptitude for the written word,” he said, “but if I did, I can assure you that my tale would be about the most epic love story… ours.”

No matter when a spouse dies, it feels like you were robbed of time. I’ve sat with friends who lost a spouse a few years into a marriage, and they said it felt like their future was stolen from them. I talk with my 93-year-old grandmother who was married to my grandfather for 66 years, and she says she still walks past his chair in the kitchen and says, “Dammit Bill, why did you have to leave me so soon?” There is never enough time when you love someone. Rosenthal’s epic love story is no exception.

In her memoir Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published in 2016, Rosenthal wrote, “Invariably, I will have to move on before I have had enough. My first word was ‘more.’ It may very well be my last.”