Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the children’s author who took the heartbreak of her own looming death and turned it into a love letter for the ages, has died of ovarian cancer at the age of 51.
Krouse Rosenthal penned “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” a New York Times Modern Love column that quickly went viral, on her final Valentine’s Day with her husband of 26 years.
While she was describing Jason Rosenthal on that day as “an easy man to fall in love with,” for the woman she hoped would take her place, Rosenthal was, well, being an easy man to fall in love with, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. “All over the house, downstairs, upstairs and in the kitchen, Jason had hung music sheets with words to different love songs for Amy, with notes on each one,” Krouse Rosenthal’s agent says in confirming the Monday morning death of “the most life-affirming person, and love-affirming person.”
Krouse Rosenthal claimed the first word she spoke was “more,” and the Sun-Times notes a career littered in “projects rich in quirky charm.” She sought that charm in the mundane, looking at an ATM as an acronym for “Always Trust Magic” and leaving dollar bills hanging in trees in what the AP calls her “flair for random acts of kindness.” John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars who credits Krouse Rosenthal with helping start his career, recalls reading her book Uni the Unicorn to his daughter and says, “only Amy could have imagined a unicorn who believes in little girls.”
She concluded her Modern Love essay thusly: “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.” Krouse Rosenthal is survived by an easy man to fall in love with, two sons, and a daughter.