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Rory Feek: ‘I Just Can’t’ Bring Myself to Order a Headstone for My Late Wife, Joey

Joey Feek and Rory Feek
Joey Feek and Rory FeekRick Diamond/Getty Images

Rory Feek revealed in a new interview that he “just can’t” bring himself to order a headstone for his late wife, Joey Feek, five months after she died from stage IV cervical cancer.

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Chatting with CBS Sunday Morning for a segment set to air Sunday, September 4, the “When I’m Gone” singer, 51, opened up about the emotional struggle of saying goodbye to his beloved partner, who passed away at age 40 earlier this year.

“I don’t know why, I just can’t,” Rory told CBS’ Anthony Mason of adding a headstone to Joey’s grave. “I don’t know if it’s that she’s so simple, and a wooden cross is part of what she would like. It probably has something to do with permanence. So, for now, I can sit out here and feel like it’s —it’s maybe just temporary. Although I know it’s not.”

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Joey — who had performed with her husband as the popular country duo Joey + Rory — passed away on March 4 after a two-year battle with cancer. That same month, she was laid to rest on the grounds of the Feek family’s 60-acre farm.

Since then, Rory — who shared daughter Indiana, 2, with Joey — has built a bench and placed it next to his longtime love’s grave. As he explained to CBS Sunday Morning, it helps him feel connected to his late wife. “I got a place for my coffee and hers,” he said. “And we still have coffee together.”

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The dad of one also said that Joey’s absence has made it difficult to return to music. Hymns That Are Important to Us, his last album with Joey, was released February 14 and shot straight to the top of the country charts. Additionally, Joey + Rory were nominated for the Best Country Duo/Group award at this year’s Grammys.

“I don’t want to go on stage without her,” he shared. “That’s what I’m thinking about right now. I just don’t want to make music without her. But I also know time changes things. So I won’t say never. It’s just where I am today.”

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