Last week, you heard an essay by Amy Krouse Rosenthal -- "You May Want to Marry my Husband." It was published just days before she died of ovarian cancer. Today, André Holland of "High Flying Bird" reads the essay her husband Jason wrote in response last summer, and we hear from Jason himself about how he's doing today.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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oh, the from the New York Times and w you are Boston. This is modern the stories of love loss and redemption. I'm your host magnetar puberty. The last week you heard an essay by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It was called you. I want to marry my husband, the ESA was published just days before Amy died of ovarian cancer this past summer, Husband, Jason wrote his own modern love, essay called my wife said may want to marry me it's right by Andre HOLLAND he's the exact Producer and star of high flying bird now on Netflix and in select theaters.
I am that guy. a little over a year ago. My wife Jimmy Kraus Rosenthal published a modern love essay called you want to marry my husband at fifty Amy was dying from ovarian cancer. She wrote her essay in the form of a personal ad. It was more love letter to me, though, where's, will be the final ones Amy published she died. Ten days later, Amy couldn't have known that her essay will afford me an opportunity. The same column with words of my own telling you what has happened since I don't to have Amy's extraordinary gift with words and wordplay. But here goes.
During our life together. Amy was a prolific writer. publishing children's books and articles knowing she had only a short time to live. She wanted to finish one last project we're engaged in in home hospice a seemingly beautiful way to deal with the end of life, where you care a loved one in familiar surroundings, away from the hospital with its beeping machines and frequent disruptions. I was posted up at the dining room table, overlooking our living room, but ain't to stab MR workstation from us, bought on the couch, She worked away between micro naps, these brief moments of peace. Were induced by the morphine needed to control her symptoms. A tumor heck created a complete bower of structure.
making it impossible for her to ease solid food. She would flutter away on the keyboard those a bit and awaken repeat When Amy finished her essay. She gave it to me to read She had done with Oliver writing, but this time differ in her memory. She had written about the children and me, but not like this. How was she able to combine such feelings of unbearable sadness, ironic, humor and total honesty. When the essay was published, Amy was too sick to appreciate it. As the international reaction became overwhelming, I was torn up thinking how she was missing the profound impact. Her words were having.
The reach of Amy's article and a greater body of work was so much deeper and richer than I knew that is poured in from around the world. They included Of admiration, medical advice commiseration and offers from women to meet me too consumed with grief during Amy's final days to engage with the responses. It was strange having any attention directed at me right then, But the outpouring did make me appreciate the significance of her work when people me to describe myself, I always start with dad- it has been agreed- they'll of my adult life, being known as Amy's husband. People knew of Amy and her writing. While I had- in relative anonymity. I had no sir, social media presence and my profession a lawyer.
did not cast me into public view after Amy died, I faced cow. This decisions in my new role as a single father. As in any marriage or union of two people with children, we had a natural division of labor, not anymore people often assumed Amy was disorganized, because she had lists upon lists scattered post. It notes Scraps of paper and even messages scrawled on her hand, but one of the most organized people I have ever met there are, specks of everyday life I have taken I never gave much consideration to in the past.
how did they may hold everything together so seamlessly I'm capable of doing many things on my own but to pee. Can accomplish so much more together and also support each other through life's ups and downs. Many women took me up on her offer The range of messages overly forward funny wise moving sincere. In a six page, handwritten letter, one woman marketed her automotive knowledge apparently in an effort to woo me. I do know. Check the radiator in a vehicle to see if it may need a tad of water before the engine blows up. while I do not know much about reality, t v. There was also this touching letter submitted by the out of a single mother who wrote I'd like to submit
application for my mom, like friends and family, can do for participants on the bachelor. And I presented the sentiment and the style of a woman who wrote this. I have this image of queues of hopeful women at the Green mill jazz club on Thursday nights, single mothers, elegant divorces, spinster ants or how wise daughters, wilting violets all in anxious anticipation as to whether the shoe will fit fit them alone that the prince from the fairy tale is meant for them that they are. The right person I couldn't digest any of these messages at the time, but its found, solace and even laughter in many of them. One thing I have come to understand, though, is what a gift Amy gave me by emphasizing
I had a long life to fill with joy, happiness and love, hurried it to fill my own empty space with story has given me permission to make the most out of my room time on this planet. If I can convey a message, I've learned from this bestowal. It would be this talk with your mate, your children and other loved ones about what you want for them. When you were gone by doing this, you give them liberty to live a full life and eventually find meaning again, there will be so much pain,
it 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. The I want more time with aiming the I want more time, picnicking and listening to music at Millennium Park. I want more shabbat dinners with the five of us Rosie's as we Rosenthal's a refer to buy. Our family I would even gladly put up with Amy taking as much time as she wants to say. To every one of our family gatherings. as she always used to do, And after we had been there for hours at a loss,
drive home ahead of us and likely was them again in a few days. I wish I had more of all of those things Just as Amy had wished for more, but more wasn't going to happen for her or us. Instead, as she described, we followed plan B, which was about being present in our lives, because time was running short, so we did our best, to live in the moment until. We had no more moments left.
Cruelest irony of my life is that it took me losing my best friend, my wife of twenty six years and the mother of my three children to truly appreciate each and every day. I know that sounds like a cliche and it is, but it's true Amy continues to open doors for me to affect my choices, Send me off into the world to make the most of it. Recently. I gave a TED talk on the end of life and my grieving process that I hope will help others not something I ever myself doing, but I'm grateful for the chance to connect with people in a similar position. and, of course, I'm writing to you now only because of her. I am now aware
in a way. I wish I never had to learn that loss is loss is loss, whether it's a divorce, losing a job having a pet die or enduring the death of a family member. In that respect, I am no different, but my wife gave me a gift at the end of her column, when she left me empty space, one I'd like offer you a blank space to fill the freedom and permission to write your own story
here is your empty space. What will you do with your own fresh start Humbly chase: that's Andrey HOLLAND, reading Jason, Rosen Thoughts essay. My wife said you may want to marry me.
will catch up with Jason after the break. I laughed following my boyfriend and I often play falling, be together by together. I think sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own- I feel a little betrayed. Sorry, it may have happened again I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words and I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that
me and my dad. We like to play fun together and I wish the out I forgot to see it J, a c k, P, o t Jack. yeah yeah now run nice I'm same is asking the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at annoying times, dot com, flash games when we talked to Jason rose and all he told us what it was like to take care of his wife in the final days of alive during the time, but Amy was in hospice. We were really focused on me. In the end of her life as beautiful as it could be, and there was no guidebook, but what we did. What I did is I tried to make it full. For some reason, candle spoke to me, candles symbolized life
in different ways? You know that some could be small and last a short while others burned for months, and so we had candles all over our home. We had family come in, we had our close friends on another evening I invited in musicians play fray me, and so we did our best to make that time for her is as beautiful as it could be, and it was by the way, not always beautiful. It was extraordinary, really painful and hard, and my kids were in during her illness Jason says that he and Amy had many conversations about parenting. Their three children other things I really wanted to ask her was. How am I going to do this without you? If you like the best man, ever and it seems so natural to you and she fell.
I assured me that the kids love you and you're. A great parent And there are also not little kids anymore, you know, but filling that void is impossible and I don't pretend to be able to be mom. I'm just doing my best to be able to be dead, so my best, we ask Jason about the blank space at the end of Aimee S ay and if it felt like a gift or a burden, I mean that blank space has allowed me to lift my head up like in the morning in the first few months. Even though extraordinarily emotional and deep in the throes of grief. I took that as a gift. You know and I was able to continue my life.
I know that there are many people out there who have never had conversations with their spouses or family or been told something so specific. We like Amy, provided for me that struggle quite a bit. Never really emerge from those deep throes of grief. I think a full life looks much different than it did before. What's beyond I have it's been almost two years and I have had a great deal of difficulty. Engage again, with what I did professionally, which was being a lawyer, and I'm trying to make each day each week. Meaningful in some way to me. Jason said but he's still receiving letters from readers their own grief or the reaching
out to him with the hope of starting a relationship. He hasn't responded to any of the people seeking romance and doesn't think he will, but over time he's gone back to the letters and found humor in some of them. One stands out: Obviously, someone spent some time on it and it essentially said. I will marry you when you are ready, provided you currently stopped drinking weather conditions, and I live. You announce that was it. I dont know how that if that applies to my life, but it really did make me laugh and as for future relationships,. You know, there's this huge hole or void in my heart that is taken up by someone else, because the truth is. You know- and I don't have any experience with this, but I never fell out of love with someone. You know I will always love Amy.
It will always be there with me and with whoever the US, maybe and so whoever decides to end up with me needs to embrace that the Jason Rosenthal he's done the foundation in Amy's honor, that funds ovarian cancer research and childhood literacy initiatives. He lives in Chicago, more after The I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next
to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own- I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened, I have one friend I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something like that. me and my dad, we like to play fun together and I wish color out. I forgot to see it J, a c k, p o t Jack, yeah yeah. I'm same is risky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at an why times, dot com, flash games. Daniel Jones. Editor of the modern love column for the New York Times says that it's a lot of submissions about loss, but Amy Krouse
Those essay was special for me, the subject our was not knew her approach to it. With this sort of fresh funny here my husband he's going to be available soon kind of tone. That's what was remarkable about it that she, as a writer, could take this issue. Should that she was in the middle of a right, then she wasn't right miss with distance used in the middle of it right then, and come up with sort of an artistic approach and to be able to say I'm gonna write this in the form of personal, add for my spend, who soon to be single in, on the one hand, that incredibly morbid and, on the other hand, the sort of a genius to it like even death needs and You know, and in this case, that it was meaningful and deep and spoke to her generosity about his future.
It was a it's a way of talking about death. You know you have to find new ways to talk about things and she did after these peace came out. A lot of readers wanted to know more about Jason rose and one very communism the Amy's essay was what's the story with Mason, and he was very understandably private about all of that, but I was happy to hear from him. A year later, with his own response to this essay and how it impacted him and he'd taken the time he knew did and his family was comfortable, he wanted to write and The sort of address that curiosity maybe dispel the romance of it a little bit and say this was meaningful to me. For this reason, despite reader expectation that this would lead to love. For me, this was the reality it was. It was a love letter to me. That's how I took it.
The lesson that I feel like I can spread and here's Ray HOLLAND on why he connected with this essay. I'm always struggled with loss of my life and. Last year was a year of a lot of loss and, as I get older and my family gets older, I'm aware and no I think that this piece really there's a beauty to it and as a hopeful nests That I really found touching thanks again to Andre HOLLAND for reading this week's essay. the
Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced directed, and added by Jessica, Alpert, Caitlin, O'Keeffe and John Pilate. Original score. And sound designed by Matt, read the idea for the modern world wide cast was conceived by LISA told him Chris Adler's, our executive producer, Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the purchase. Courtesy of AP am I making trucker body see you next week the.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.