Husband of Dying Author Who Wrote Heartbreaking Dating Profile for Him Says: 'I Was Emotionally Ripped Apart'

"When I read her words for the first time, I was shocked at the beauty," Jason Rosenthal tells PEOPLE

When Chicago author Amy Krouse Rosenthal set out to share her and her husband Jason Rosenthal’s incredible love story in an essay titled “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” she touched millions of readers worldwide.

Her remarkable love letter — featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” section — was less about getting a response than helping him start the next chapter of his life, as Amy, 51, is facing a terminal ovarian cancer diagnosis. And no one was more moved by the essay than her devoted husband of 26 years.

“I didn’t know exactly what she was composing,” Jason, 52, says in a statement released to PEOPLE. “But I was with her as she labored through this process and I can tell you that writing the story was no easy task. When I read her words for the first time, I was shocked at the beauty, slightly surprised at the incredible prose given her condition and, of course, emotionally ripped apart.”

Courtesy Rosenthal Family

Read more about Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s moving story in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

In the essay, Amy, whose memoir, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, came out in August, calls Jason “an easy man to fall in love with” and describes him as a “sharp dresser” and an “absolutely wonderful father” to their three children, Justin, 24, Miles, 22, and Paris, 19. “Did I mention that he is incredibly handsome?” she adds. “I’m going to miss looking at that face of his.”

Courtesy Rosenthal Family

She concludes with her hope that “the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.”

As for Jason, he says his love story with Amy will never die. “I don’t have the same aptitude for the written word,” he says, “but if I did, I can assure you that my tale would be about the most epic love story… ours.”

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