By Amanda Wicks
After battling cervical cancer, Joey Feek, one half of the country duo Joey + Rory, passed away on March 4. Although her husband Rory continued to post personal accounts on his blog, he only recently sat down for his first interview since his wife’s death.
Throughout the process of recording their last album together, Hymns, Rory confessed how neither he nor Joey would let themselves consider it their final project. “No—we had unwavering hope, so we never really thought like that,” he said. “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” (via Billboard).
If listening to the music he made with his wife would seem painful, Rory has used it as a healing tool. “I’d say it brings me a lot of peace. I listen and watch everything—it’s part of the process for me,” he explained. “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.” Rory shared how he and his daughter Indiana actually often start their morning by listening to Hymns.
As for what he has planned next creatively, Rory admitted he hasn’t been busy writing. “No, I haven’t written in more than two years.” Instead, he’s been working as a producer on Bradley Walker’s next record as a result of Joey requesting Bradley to sing at her funeral. “It’s pretty magical that [the deal] came from him singing at my wife’s service, that I get to be a part of that—to lift up someone we love,” he said.