Rory Feek Opens Up About Joey Feek’s Death: ‘I Keep Her as Close to Me as Possible’
It's been two months since Joey Feek of Joey + Rory passed away after a months-long battle with cancer. In a new interview, Rory Feek opens up about his wife's last days and what his life is like now.
The couple's final album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, debuted at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums and Top Christian Albums charts following its release in February, becoming their most successful record ever. Rory Feek tells Billboard that the success meant a lot to them -- both financially and in carrying on his wife's legacy.
"But the biggest thing was that we saw how God was working and using the music in such an incredible way," Feek explains. "Joey's response [to the chart news] was, 'God is going to get the glory.' The truth is, that's the only way to explain it. God created a situation where it all came together, and that was beautiful to be a part of -- still is."
Hymns was recorded during Joey Feek's radiation and chemotherapy treatments; the vocal sessions were done in hotel rooms. However, Rory Feek confesses that the couple did not consider that the record might be their last project together: He notes their "unwavering hope" and says, "... We never really thought like that. We did shows every month, all the way through. I knew it was hard for her, but we always treated everything like, 'This is a season, and we're going to get better.' She kept wanting to sing, even when it was hard for her to get onstage. Not because she wanted to make money or get applause, but because she wanted to share her music."
Rory Feek says that the music he and Joey Feek made together has brought him a lot of peace. And, instead of stashing his memories of his wife away, he keeps them at the forefront of his life.
"I listen and watch everything -- it's part of the process for me," he admits. "I don't want to hide from her, or her memory, or those feelings. I want to embrace them and keep her as close to me as possible."
He adds, "And then there are other times ... I'm making eggs, and emotional, and Indy doesn't quite understand it. But that's part of it -- it's okay."
Rory Feek has talked before about carrying his wife in his heart wherever he goes. Something else he continues to carry is his faith in God.
"I don't understand everything. I don't understand all of the Bible, nor did my wife -- but I understand what faith is, and what faith requires. Faith requires faith, and that never really stops," Feek notes. "She had a very strong faith, and that never wavered. The same thing with me: Just because things don't work out the way that you hoped they would, doesn't mean that God isn't still in charge. It's still his plans and not ours, so I don't feel like my faith has wavered at all."
Rory Feek noted before Joey Feek passed away, “This is the last record that Joey and I will ever get to make and the last songs we’ll ever get to sing together. I have no desire to go on singing or performing without her.” And as of now, he's staying true to that: He says, "I haven't written in more than two years. No guitars," but he is producing a record for Bradley Walker.
On his blog, This Life I Live, Rory Feek continues to update fans and followers on life -- now as a single dad. Recently, he wrote, "... I found myself realizing that no matter how hard life seems sometimes, or how much pain and hurt we feel like we’re carrying around with us… God gives us ‘new eyes’ each day, and the opportunity to see the good in the life -- to experience all the joy that He is trying to show us."
What's Next for Rory Feek?
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