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Legacy of Love

Farewell to Country Singer Joey Feek

The final days of her life were chronicled by her soulmate. Their music together lives on.

By Nick Maslow
2 min

Above Image | Michael Waring

My wife's greatest dream came true today. She is in heaven," Rory Feek wrote on his blog hours after Joey—his partner in marriage and music—died at the age of 40 on March 4. With their daughter Indiana, 2, by his side, Rory, 50, left Joey's hometown of Alexandria, Ind.—where the country singer spent her final months surrounded by family and friends—and headed back to the home they had made together in Pottsville, Tenn. It is there that Rory plans to grant his wife's dying wish to be buried in a field behind their farmhouse. It's a sad end to a story that resonated far beyond Nashville. Diagnosed with cervical cancer after giving birth to their daughter, Joey stayed optimistic even when treatment failed. "There isn't a day that goes by that [Joey] doesn't look me and her family in the eye and say, 'I'm gonna beat this,'" Rory wrote in November, one month after a CT scan showed the disease had spread. Despite the bad news, Joey inspired supporters and family—including Rory's adult daughters Heidi and Hopie—as she prepared them for life without her. "Joey has had to learn to come to terms with what is happening to her body and what the future holds," Rory told People in January. "It's been important to her to share some things that she wants me and our girls to remember after she's gone." Weakened by pain and morphine, Joey mustered energy to teach Indy, who has Down syndrome, sign language; prepare meals from her hospice bed; and release Joey+Rory's new album, Hymns That Are Important to Us, with songs that lifted her in her darkest hours. Days before her death the duo's final release debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's country chart—a final tribute for a performer who started in talent shows at 6. "God decided...that my job of singing for people down here is my legacy," she said in November. "He needs me singing up there."

A beautiful soul moved into heaven today'