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By Burningkarma – via Wikimedia commons

I’ve never been a super-huge fan of country music.  There are a few country artists whose music I enjoy and a few country songs I have on my mp3 player.  So when I started seeing article after article about Joey Feek and her battle with cancer, I was a bit confused to who she was and somewhat understood why I had never heard about her previously.

As the months progressed and more articles about her would pop up in my newsfeed, I would find myself clicking on the news articles about Joey.  The posts would record each step of her dying process.  From her final Christmas to the last days of her life, each article shaped a narrative to sacred to keep silent.

Through these accounts, Joey Feek showed us what true courage in the face of final days looks like.  She showed us what it meant to live fully in the present and show those close to you how much you love and value them.  Joey’s life was one where discomfort and pain didn’t stop her from continuing to live the best she could.  She embraced faith as part of the process.  And, most of all, she was able to be vulnerable by allowing the world to walk with her on the final steps of her journey.

Joey’s legacy will include her music.  But what I believe was greater included her display of bravery and the way she taught us how to die.  Dying is not pretty or glamorous or what’s supposed to happen when you’re 40 years old.  Joey gave us a vivid picture of the ebb and flow of life and how raw and vulnerable it is to walk alongside of someone in the final stages of life.

We thank Joey, her husband Rory and their family for allowing the world to see the scary, authentic, beautiful and awe-ful world of hospice, palliative care, final breaths, last kisses and living fully in the moment.

Who are the people in your life who gave you a beautiful example of what it means to die with dignity, grace and vulnerability?