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Widower of 'You May Want to Marry My Husband' writer says he's found 'joy and happiness'

Jason Rosenthal has co-written a children’s book with his daughter, to continue the legacy of his late wife.
dear boy
Jason Rosenthal and his daughter, Paris Rosenthal, have co-written a new book titled “Dear Boy.”TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Jason Rosenthal became a viral sensation after his wife wrote a personal ad for him in The New York Times — just days before she died.

Two years later, the subject of “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” has found joy and a new purpose.

“I do definitely find joy and happiness now, yes,” he told NBC's Maria Shriver.

Jason's late wife, children’s author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, wrote her famous essay as a tribute to her husband and a relationship cut short by ovarian cancer. She died in March 2017, less than two weeks after her column was published.

Jason opened up about the loss a year later in a candid TED Talk, in which he described how his wife died in their bed.

“I carried her lifeless body down our stairs, through our dining room and our living room to a waiting gurney to have her body cremated,” he told his audience at the time. “I will never get that image out of my head.”

Amy Krouse Rosenthal's husband and daughter write "Dear Boy"
Amy Krouse Rosenthal died of ovarian cancer just days after her essay, "You May Want to Marry My Husband," went viral in March 2017. TODAY

Now, Jason is carrying on his wife's legacy in a new book he wrote with his daughter, Paris Rosenthal. “Dear Boy,” released Tuesday, encourages boys to believe in themselves, be open about their feelings and “always trust magic.” The book is a companion to “Dear Girl,” which Paris completed last year for her mother.

“Dear Boy” by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal, $13 (originally $18), Amazon

Jason admitted he initially was intimidated by the idea of writing a children’s book.

“I had some reservations because it’s not my natural instinct,” he said. “But we talked about it and quickly agreed it would be a good idea.”

The project helped find another way for him and his daughter to stay connected to Amy. Asked whether he felt the three of them were writing the book together, because of the common phrases they lifted from Amy, Jason agreed it did.

“I haven't really thought about it that way, but that is really 100% true, yeah,” he said.

For the couple’s daughter, the book provided a chance to continue processing her grief while helping others.

“I think that taking a step back and realizing that so many people experience a loss, and that perhaps these types of experiences just make us more empathetic and give us new ways of living our lives on a daily basis,” she said.

dear boy
Jason and daughter Paris are now the authors of a new children's book, "Dear Boy."TODAY

In addition to being a declaration of love to the man she met on a blind date, Amy’s essay served as written permission for her husband to find love again after her death.

Jason declined to share whether he’s fulfilled his wife’s wish, but he has promised to share more about the subject in a memoir he’s now writing.

Meanwhile, Paris, a college senior who plans to move to New York after graduation, will continue writing and work in the publishing business.

She believes her mother would be happy about the new book.

“One of the most emotional parts, I think, about writing this book is just how thrilled she would be that we were doing this together,” she said.

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