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My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me: A Memoir

Carrie: If you missed Amy Krouse Rosenthal's essay "You May Want to Marry My Husband" published in the NYT Modern Love column in 2017, right before she died, start there. With Kleenex.  (online but also included in the book pgs. 102-105) This book will make much more sense! Her intention was to give her husband Jason space to move forward and that is the theme and focus of this book. Thankfully it was not about his foray back into the dating world! Instead it was about his efforts to live without the love of his life. Amy and Jason were married for 26 years (me too, this month! which feels timely, but hopefully a different trajectory) and raised 3 kids together and had great plans to proceed with an empty nest when Amy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This book is both a chronicle of their love story and an examination of grief and death in our culture. Jason frequently repeats his intention to be honest and open in speaking about his experience and does a good job narrating through illness, caretaking and the three years after Amy's death of trying to regain equilibrium. What is so endearing (besides their amazing relationship) is all the little artifacts that are included here: notes and photos and captions and drawings that show the deeply personal level of sharing with the world they were both accustomed to. Chicago connection is a plus too! And I am a big fan of AKR's children's book Little Pea and her memoir TextBook. This rounded out the picture for me. 

An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children's author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband's life without her in the viral New York Times Modern Love column, "You May Want to Marry My Husband."

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times' "Modern Love" column --"You May Want to Marry My Husband." It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad--in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise--the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy's wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal--how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason's emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.

As he reflects on Amy's gift to him--a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story--Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy's life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life's joys in the wake of tremendous loss.

Publication Date: 
April 21, 2020