MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis woman went from being a twenty-something, happy-go-lucky, free spirit to a 33-year-old single mother and widow after losing her husband to cancer. She’s documented her life on her popular blog, and is releasing a memoir next week.
“Purmort, Aaron Joseph Age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years-long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long. Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man.”READ MORE: 'It's Amazing': New Minnesota Grant Helps Foster Care Youth Pay For College
That obituary was written by Nora McInerny Purmort and her husband Aaron before he died — and it went viral.
“I wanted to do everything the right way and I wanted to do it his way. And I wanted him to still have agency over the part of his life and his legacy that he could influence,” McInerny Purmort said.
McInerny Purmort’s also doing things her way. Born in Minneapolis, she gained a massive online following through her blog “My Husband’s Tumor,” where she documented their life after Aaron was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Now, she’s releasing a memoir.
“It’s really hard to tell people what the book is about without straight bumming them out,” she said. “I say, ‘I wrote a memoir.’ They say ‘What’s it about?’ I say ‘It’s about my husband and my dad dying.'”
Written in her own voice, McInerny Purmort finds humor and levity in life’s hard and sad places.READ MORE: Wisconsin Man Dies After Car Splits During Crash In Fridley
“Life isn’t just the fun and happy things, like falling in love — which rules — or having a baby — which is the best — or finding your dream job. It’s all those things in between, too, which we all have to go through,” she said.
The book is about parenting her son Ralphie, surviving her twenties, growing up in a Catholic family of six, and it’s about the cancer that stole her father and husband within six weeks of each other.
“People are afraid to talk to you about hard things, and it’s OK,” she said. “It’s OK for you to sit down and tell me you laughed at this wonderful story. I hope you do. We had a wonderful marriage, we had a perfect relationship and he made me laugh all the time. Even when he was literally on his death bed, he was making me laugh and telling me that he would always be with me, except in the bathroom.”
As McInerny Purmort and the title say, “It’s OK to Laugh (Crying is Cool, Too).”
“It is my life,” she said. “You are literally putting your life out there for people to react to, which is nerve-wracking.”MORE NEWS: Homicide Investigation Underway After Woman Found Dead Inside St. Paul Home
“It’s Okay to Laugh, (Crying is Cool Too)” is available for pre-order on Amazon, and will be in bookstores everywhere Tuesday. McInerny Purmort also created nonprofit — Still Kickin’ — that supports people going through their struggles, and the “Hot Young Widow’s Club.” She writes for elle.com, cosmopolitan.com and the Star Tribune.