It’s been just over two months since Joey Feek died, leaving husband Rory Feek to run their family alone. While the adjustment hasn’t been an easy one, the father of three is making do. In his first interview since Joey’s death, Rory revealed the one thing that’s helped him cope with his loss — their music.
Joey, who died at age 40, collaborated with Rory on several projects, the last of which was called “Hymns That are Important to Us.” Since losing his wife, the country singer told Billboard magazine he’s found “a lot of peace” in listening to their music. In fact, it has become a part of his daily ritual, easier some days than others. Rory told the publication that he had no idea that “Hymns” would be the last time he got to create with his wife, because Joey refused to give up the fight. Naturally the project is important to him and helped him to see the many blessings around him. While Joey may no longer be with Rory and their kids, he has been able to hold onto a piece of her through her vocals.
“I listen and watch everything — it’s part of the process for me. I don’t want to hide from her, or her memory, of those feelings. I want to embrace them and keep her as close to me as possible,” he explained. “Every morning about 5:30 a.m., Indiana and I get up, and quite often I play her ‘Hymns’ record. Sometimes we’ll listen and it’ll make us smile. Indiana will do sign language to ‘Jesus Love Me,’ just like she would her mother. And then there are other times. ... I’m making eggs, and emotional, and Indy doesn’t quite understand it.”
Another way Rory’s been coping? Coffee with friends. In an April 14 post on his blog, titled "This Life I Live," Rory shared with readers that the mundane had become important to him after Joey’s death. He had met with friends one morning for coffee on a neighbor’s porch. The gathering brought lots of laughter, which is precisely what Rory needed. The meeting has now become a weekly ritual.
“One morning a week I meet a few of my buddies on our neighbor Gabe’s porch for coffee,” he wrote at the time. “While his wife and babies sleep inside, a bunch of us guys take over the porch of their little farmhouse and drink coffee and do man stuff — whatever that is. Mostly talk and share stories and laugh.”
Joey’s death has been difficult for Rory, but he notes that his youngest daughter has had a much easier time. In fact, on March 28 he wrote that it was both “sad” and “wonderful” that Indiana had not asked about her mother since her death. He claimed that it was as if the toddler “hasn’t noticed” that her mother was no longer around.