Random Thoughts About Whatever Comes to Mind

Loss Of An Original Mind, An Affectionate Heart

March 23, 2017

Tags: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, You May Want To Marry My Husband, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary life, the meaning of life

Any death represents the loss of uniqueness - the one pair of hands that could shape clay in just that way, the one brain that analyzed situations in just that manner, the one person who combined just that knowledge-set, circle of acquaintances, capabilities, and experiences.

With the death last week of Amy Krouse Rosenthal, we lost something else: a true original. Known for her quirky memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and other entertaining and insightful books, she was both a prompter and practitioner of unusual experiences. To see how unusual, check out "17 Things I Made" on YouTube that incorporated an invitation to others to participate in making an 18th thing. This was the beginning of "The Beckoning of Lovely" project, three years of stranger-to-stranger affection, assistance, entertainment, creativity, and anything else fun, productive, and happy that can be "wondrously" shared.

Amy did lots of things in her too-short life. She even gave a Ted talk, surely the ultimate validation of personal worth in an era that must be told what is valuable in order to recognize it. The last thing Amy did was to write, as she was dying from ovarian cancer, already in hospice care, a piece in The New York Times entitled "You May Want to Marry My Husband." In it, Amy simultaneously says goodbye to her life as it was even as she envisions the possibility of the kind of person who will help her husband move forward without her. It's probably the best love letter ever from one spouse to another, and it has deservedly gone viral, this testament to a loving relationship.

Amy's was a generous spirit, and when she died the world became a different, colder, less gentle place.