Joey Feek Prepares for End of Life: God ‘Needs Me Singing Up There’
Joey Feek has entered hospice care for what she has accepted will be the final stage of her life, and she's facing the end with the same dignity and rock-steady faith that she has displayed throughout her long battle with cancer.
The Joey + Rory singer has been battling Stage 4 cancer, for which she recently underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Doctors have told Joey and her husband and duo partner, Rory Feek, there is nothing more they can do for her, and the couple recently made the decision to end her treatments.
The Tennessean reporter Cindy Watts spent the day with Feek on Wednesday (Nov. 11) at her family's farmhouse in her hometown of Alexandria, Ind. Joey tells Watts that she wasn't angry at God when she got the devastating news. “I was just greatly disappointed," she says. "I really thought we had it ... But for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough, and God had different plans. I was disappointed. I was exhausted.
“More than anything, I felt like I failed at something,” she adds as she begins to cry. “I thought I did everything. But God decided for me that my job of singing for people down here is my legacy, and he needs me singing up there. That’s how I look at it.”
The couple went to Alexandria because Joey suspected she might not have as much time left as doctors had predicted, and she wanted to spend time with her family. She intended to return to Nashville to live the time she has left at home, but after suffering complications, she decided she will stay there until the end.
“I said, Rory, if it’s OK with you, this is where I was born, it’s where I was raised, and this is where I die,” she says. “He said, ‘Whatever you want.’ I said, ‘That’s what I want.’ ”
In fact, when Joey + Rory's tour bus recently came to Alexandria, bearing a group of friends coming to visit from Nashville, it was also carrying the simple wooden casket that she asked the couple's farmhand and friend, Thomas Travioli, to build for her.
"When Joey told me to reach out to him and share one of her last requests with him ... Through tears, he got out his saws and hammer and did what she asked," Rory writes in his blog, This Life I Live. "A rough-cut wooden box with a cross on it was placed beneath the bay of the bus and brought up here because that’s what Joey wants. 'Thomas to make my box… simple, from wood at the farm,' she said. 'And find a good spot in the family cemetery in the field behind our house, where we put your mama’s ashes last year… with room enough beside my headstone for you to join me someday… in God’s time.'
"And so we will," he says.
Joey insists that she is not afraid to die.
“I pray that one morning I just don’t wake up,” she tells the Tennessean. “But I don’t fear anything because I’m so close to God and we’ve talked about it so many times. I know he’s close. And I know he loves me. I’m really at peace. I still believe there’s healing in prayer.”
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