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Rory Describes Joey’s Extraordinary Love During Memorial Eulogy [Watch]

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Rory Feek took the stage at a public memorial for wife Joey Feek on Sunday (March 13) and described a few of his wife’s final wishes, as well as why he started writing his This Life I Live blog. Video shows an emotional and composed 49-year-old speaking candidly about his late wife and Joey + Rory duo partner.

Between sniffles but few tears, Rory shares what he hopes those who knew Joey and fans of the duo will take away from her life and story. “Love,” Rory says, using the word as a directive.

"I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to experience the kind of love you see in movies. All you need to do is give that kind of love first. And that is not an easy thing to do."

“Love your husbands. Love your wives and your children. And love your neighbor that you cannot stand.”

Hundreds gathered for the public memorial at Alexandria-Monroe High School in Alexandria, Ind., on Sunday. That was the high school Joey Feek graduated from in 1994, and her memorial was in the same gym where she played basketball and volleyball. Rory was one of a number of speakers, all of whom gave personal, first-person accounts of the late singer’s beauty and generosity. At the beginning of his prepared comments, Rory explains that it was Joey who encouraged Rory to begin his blog two years ago, just as they’d decided to take time away from recording and the road. It was the beginning of a new chapter — one that would surely be full of twists and turns.

“Joey and I believed that God would give us a great story,” he says. “Not just a great story to tell, but a great story to live. And he has.”

It has included highs and many lows, but Rory says great stories are not filled with only joy — the lows help you appreciate the highs. The Feeks’ story is one of unquestioned love, a love that the now-single father says he didn’t know before meeting Joey. With her, he saw what real love looks like.

“I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to experience the kind of love you see in movies. All you need to do is give that kind of love first. And that is not an easy thing to do.”

Rory shares that many times he leaned over Joey’s bed and told her he’d take her place in an instant if he could.

“And she only looked into my eyes and smiled and wiped the tears from my cheeks and said ‘But if it was you, there would be no one here to write about it. So I will live it and you will share it.’ And so she did, and I have.”

Later in the video, after thanking family, friends and the hundreds who’ve gathered, Rory puts on her varsity jacket. His sniffles stop and the crowd hushes.

“She may have played basketball and volleyball in this gym,” Rory says, taking a long pause. “And I may be wearing her jacket. But what she lettered in was love.”

Joey Martin Feek died on March 4 after a long battle with cancer. She was 40 years old.

Photos From Joey Feek’s Private Memorial

What Will Rory Do Next?

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Next: Dolly Parton's Video for Joey Feek

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