• Sophia Hadef

'My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me', a grief and love story by Jason Rosenthal

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason Rosenthal

Hardcover, 240 pages.

Published on April 21st 2020 by Harper.

On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column: ”You May Want to Marry My Husband.” She died ten days after its publication. A heart-rending, sincere, and original piece on a personal ad, in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to find happiness after her death, to write a new page of his life without her. The column went viral, with more than five million readers worldwide.

In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason narrates what arrived next: his respect to Amy’s wish, even while struggling with her loss. Recounting his life before, with and without Amy, he contemplates on love and the pain of watching a beloved one suffer, and the process of healing. How he and his children, in spite of their deep grief, dealt with it. An emotional journey that offers insights on dying and death and the agonising pain of losing a soulmate, and explains the lessons he learned.

As he reveals on Amy’s present to him, a new start to fill his blank space with a new story. Jason details how he continues to praise Amy’s story and her ultimate wish, how he seeks to enjoy every day and live in the moment while aspiring to help others coping with grief. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the emotional, and encouraging story of a true love, the result of a marriage stopped too soon, and how a surviving companion finally found a new perspective about life and its joys, in the wake of enormous loss.

This story was indeed touching at parts but also inspiring. Jason is an excellent writer, and it’s evident from his book that Amy was creative, with a powerful force, and she was loved by so many. What I admired the most was the fact they chose to live the life they wanted, with great effort. We all talk about living fully, but are we even trying?

”I am capable of doing many things on my own, but two people can accomplish so much more together and also support each other through life's ups and downs.”

A lot of reviews of this book are calling it too sweet. It is sad to see that some people don’t have the respect for what it is—an intimate perspective on love and loss. No relationship is perfect, but I believe that Jason and Amy’s marriage was close to it, at least they thought it was, and it is essential.

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is a beautiful tribute to an incredible life and a story of resilience, about writing a new page and moving on to a new life. The writer Jason mentioned this 'family help' many times, and each time I thought it what a good thing to have such an essential circle because we are not all so lucky. To exist without toxicity, without opposition and with the full support in all our endeavour is something most of us are dreaming to have.

I recommend this powerful story to help you to move on if you are suffering and grieving. It’s a light of hope and a strong love letter to living.

”Talk with your mate, your children and other loved ones about what you want for them when you are gone. By doing this, you give them liberty to live a full life and eventually find meaning again. There will be so much pain, and they will think of you daily. But they will carry on and make a new future, knowing you gave them permission and even encouragement to do so.

Sophia Hadef

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