Julie Zamboldi and Joey Feek Credit: This Life I live

So hard to say goodbye. Country singer Rory Feek wrote a touching new blog post on Saturday, January 16, about his terminally ill wife, Joey, being “inconsolable” over saying goodbye to her best friend, Julie Zamboldi.

“I put my arms around her and asked what was wrong,” Rory wrote of his wife, who is in hospice care. “As her lips quivered and she tried to catch her breath, the tears streamed down her cheeks and Joey said, ‘I don’t think I will ever see her again.’”

Zamboldi met the couple, who performed as the duo Joey + Rory, nearly eight years ago at their first Big & Buckle Festival. Joey and Zamboldi soon became very close friends.

“Like an angel from heaven, it was as if God sent Julie to us. To her,” Rory continued. “But none of us exactly knew why, until the cancer showed up again this summer.”

Joey was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer in 2014, but she decided to stop chemotherapy treatments in October after the cancer returned and spread to her colon. When Joey started losing her hair, Zamboldi shaved her own head to show her support for her best friend.

“Months later and as Joey’s condition has continued to improve, then worsen, again and again ... Julie has made three trips to Washington and is back here with us again,” Joey added. “She’s been here all week, helping Joey’s sister Jody take care of my wife and me and everyone else. She cooks, she cleans, changes the baby’s diaper, and does any and everything else that she can find to do that needs to be done while we’re living here out of suitcases ... not waiting for someone we love to die. But helping the woman we all love to live.”

Rory has been chronicling Joey’s battle on his blog, This Life I Live, from her hometown of Alexandria, Indiana, where she is in hospice. The pair have a 23-month-old daughter, Indiana.

Earlier this week, Rory said that he has “no desire to go on singing” without his leading lady.

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