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‘You May Want to Marry My Husband’- Dating after the death of a life partner

A couple walks the beach at Coney Island on March 9, 2016 in New York.
A couple walks the beach at Coney Island on March 9, 2016 in New York.

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The children's author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has died of ovarian cancer at the age of 51.

Her tragic struggle with cancer was much-discussed, thanks to a Modern Love column published earlier this month titled "You May Want to Marry My Husband.” Rosenthal said she wrote the essay to memorialize her marriage to husband Jason and to tout his credentials as a great partner and father, perhaps sparking a future romance after her death. In Modern Love, she provides readers with Jason's basic dating profile stats--height, weight, hair color--and goes on to describe his skills as a travel companion, painter, and pancake-flipper.

Rosenthal said in the NYTimes:

"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."

The piece was shared widely on social media and began a conversation on death, grieving, and dating after losing a partner. Now that Rosenthal has passed, there is renewed attention on the story and an opportunity to invite AirTalk listeners to share their experiences.

How have you handled conversations around dating after the death of a spouse? If you or a loved one is terminally ill, do you talk about the prospect of moving on with a new partner in the future?


Camille Wortman, professor of social and health psychology at Stony Brook University in New York.  Her area of expertise is grief and bereavement

Julie Cederbaum, associate professor of social work at USC; she specializes in clinical social work with children and families