American author Amy Krouse Rosenthal is well known for her 28 children’s books and her 2005 autobiography Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.
But the prose she’s most famous for today is a heart-wrenching column she’s just penned for The New York Times – You May Want To Marry My Husband.
Amy, below, is dying of ovarian cancer but holding out hope that her husband of 26 years finds love again after she’s gone.
“I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day, and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins,” she writes of the father of her three adult children.
“He is an absolutely wonderful father. Ask anyone. See that guy on the corner? Go ahead and ask him; he’ll tell you. Jason is compassionate – and he can flip a pancake.
“Jason paints. I love his artwork. I would call him an artist except for the law degree that keeps him at his downtown office most days from 9 to 5. Or at least it did before I got sick.
“If you’re looking for a dreamy, let’s-go-for-it travel companion, Jason is your man.
“He also has an affinity for tiny things: taster spoons, little jars, a mini-sculpture of a couple sitting on a bench, which he presented to me as a reminder of how our family began.
“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.”
Amy also describes being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September, after going to hospital with a suspected case of appendicitis.
The column has since been shared worldwide and translated into dozens of languages.
Readers have also left hundreds of comments, sharing stories about their own experiences with love, death and grief.
One commenter, David Olasov, said when his mother was dying, she compiled a list of eligible women for his father, and wrote menus for dinner parties.
“It was, as is your article, permission to a beloved spouse both to grieve and to keep living.”
Ryan, a 24-year-old, said the column had made him realise what kind of husband he wants to be in the future.
“I greatly appreciate you, Amy, for writing this and giving me a perspective on what I hope to strive for one day.”
An Australian woman, Rachelle, wrote that the author’s “adventurous soul” was captured in the column.
“It is you I see in all those lines, not just your husband, and I hope you are so proud of the life you have created.”