An author fighting ovarian cancer who offered up her husband in a tear-jerking essay has died.
“If you’re looking for a dreamy, let’s-go-for-it travel companion, Jason is your man,” Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote days before she died.
Her longtime literary agent, Amy Rennert, said Rosenthal died Monday.
Rosenthal described her illness and her marriage in a “Modern Love” column published March 3 in the New York Times. It didn’t take long for her essay to go viral online.
Rosenthal, 51, wrote that she’s gone weeks without real food and falls asleep mid-sentence because of the morphine she needed. Despite feeling weak, she said she had to write the essay while she still could, because she wanted him to fall in love again after she is gone.
“He is a sharp dresser,” Rosenthal wrote. “Our young adult sons, Justin and Miles, often borrow his clothes. Those who know him – or just happen to glance down at the gap between his dress slacks and dress shoes – know that he has a flair for fabulous socks. He is fit and enjoys keeping in shape.”
Rosenthal said she has been married to Jason Rosenthal for 26 years. She lives in Chicago, according to her website.
She wrote that on Sept. 5, 2015 – when their daughter had just left for college, making them empty-nesters, they went to the emergency room, believing she had appendicitis. Instead, it was ovarian cancer.
Soon, she said she began existing only in the present. Then, she thought about the future.
“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,” she wrote.
Her husband is a lawyer and excellent cook who paints in his spare time, she wrote. He loves listening to music, and showed up at their first pregnancy ultrasound with flowers.
“If he sounds like a prince and our relationship seems like a fairy tale, it’s not too far off, except for all of the regular stuff that comes from two and a half decades of playing house together,” she wrote. “And the part about me getting cancer. Blech.”
Rosenthal completed than more 30 books, including journals, memoirs and the best-selling pictures stories “Uni the Unicorn” and “Duck! Rabbit!” She made short films and YouTube videos, gave TED talks and provided radio commentary for NPR, among others.
She also raised three children and had a flair for random acts of kindness, whether hanging dollar bills from a tree or leaving notes on ATMs.