Joey Feek died on Friday after a long battle with cervical cancer, but the husband of the Joey+Rory singer compiled photos and videos, even on her deathbed, that turned her final days into a living memorial.
Fans were able to share in almost every step of the way as Joey moved into hospice care last October and saw her health steadily wane. Her husband and singing partner, Rory Feek, maintained a blog that went into extensive detail about their trials and Joey’s progressively worse health.
It was on this blog that Rory announced Friday that Joey Feek had died.
“My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven,” he wrote in the touching post on This Life I Live. “The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior.”
Just hours before her death, Rory shared a picture of Joey Feek on her deathbed, holding hands with her oldest daughter.
In the final days, weeks, and months of Joey Feek’s life, Rory shared many videos and pictures of their happy moments. Though Joey was often frustrated with her failing health — she lost the ability to walk on her own late last year — Rory also captured the milestones she was able to celebrate.
As the holidays neared, Rory wrote that Joey was anxious about making it to Christmas to see the joy in her youngest daughter, Indiana. Joey ended up living through the holidays and through February, celebrating Indiana’s second birthday.
In that same month, Joey Feek saw the release of their final album, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard country and Christian contemporary charts, and was also nominated for a Grammy. Later Joey was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash award, the highest honor given by the state of Indiana.
Rory shared these moments with fans as well.
This week, Rory Feek told fans that Joey had said her goodbyes to family members, giving her daughter, Indiana, one final kiss before falling into a deep sleep. A hospice nurse told him that Joey likely had only a few days left.
But even in this most difficult time, Rory Feek continued sharing memories from their life together with fans. He shared a video showing their love story together, one that went viral among Joey+Rory fans. The video showed Joey’s progression through the battle with cervical cancer, mixed in with pictures of her younger days, pregnancy with Indiana, and her wedding to Rory.
The blog, Instagram photos, and videos that Rory shared of Joey Feek’s final days leading up to her death connected with fans across the world. Many noted after Joey’s death that they felt like a member of their own family had died.
“I’m a middle-aged woman living up north on Long Island, NY and cannot be called a country music fan,” wrote Michele Citrin, via The Tennessean. “I’ve only gotten to know Joey and Rory thru the stories … online. I cannot tell you how much their lives and their journey has touched me these recent weeks. I’ve prayed and asked the patron saint of my local Catholic Church to give Joey and her family strength.”
The interest in the final videos and photos from Joey Feek’s final days was so high that Rory’s site was often inaccessible in the hours after he announced her death. The couple’s Instagram page also gained hundreds of comments from fans extending condolences and thanking Rory for sharing so much with them.
The entire collection of videos and photos from Joey Feek in her final days, right up to her deathbed moments with family, can be found here.
[Image via Instagram]