Dying Wife Pens Love Letter To Her Husband's Future Spouse

by Julie Scagell

Woman with terminal cancer writes gut wrenching dating profile for her husband

If you love someone and I don’t care who — a friend, a lover, a spouse, a child — you will hold on to them tighter after you read Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s gut wrenching words. Rosenthal is battling ovarian cancer and she is dying. As she considers the life she leaves behind, Rosenthal decides to write an unconventional love letter — courting her husband’s future spouse.

The New York Times published her letter last week. You can read it a dozen times and still struggle to comprehend the incredible loss and love captured in its words.

Rosenthal, an author of over two dozen children’s books and poignant memoirs, starts the letter titled “You May Want To Marry My Husband” when they found out about her diagnosis. “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 writes.

It becomes evident her diagnosis is terminal and she goes on to talk about the finality of it all, considering their future plans and saying, “No wonder the word cancer and cancel look so similar.” The couple have three children, their youngest just off to college.

Rosenthal focuses little of the essay on herself, instead putting the emphasis on her future widow and captivating the next love of his life. “If our home could speak, it would add that Jason is uncannily handy. On the subject of food — man, can he cook. After a long day, there is no sweeter joy than seeing him walk in the door, plop a grocery bag down on the counter, and woo me with olives and some yummy cheese,” Rosenthal writes. She goes on to say, “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 admits she fell in love with Jason “by the end of dinner” on their first date: “By the end of dinner, I knew I wanted to marry him. Jason? He knew a year later. I have never been on Tinder, Bumble or eHarmony, but I’m going to create a general profile for Jason right here, based on my experience of coexisting in the same house with him for, like, 9,490 days.” And though it is her desire for him to find love again, she is quick to follow, “I want more time with Jason. I want more time with my children. I want more time sipping martinis at the Green Mill Jazz Club on Thursday nights. But that is not going to happen.”

Rosenthal highlights all the million reasons someone should fall in love with her husband, from his “ability to flip a pancake,” to his “love of tiny things.” After the endearing list that will leave you in tears she writes, “My guess is you know enough about him now. So let’s swipe right.”

If that wasn’t enough to break your heart wide open, she ends the letter with, “I’ll leave this intentional empty space below as a way of giving you two the fresh start you deserve.”