Rory Feek Mourns Passing of His Beloved Joey, Will Raise Daughter Indiana as Single Dad

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Rory Feek is mourning the passing of his beloved wife, Joey Feek, who died at the age of 40 on Friday, following a lengthy cancer battle. Rory maintains Joey didn't lose her battle, however. Instead he believes she won.

Journaling his way through his wife's illness on his blog, This Life I Live, Rory Feek shared word of Joey Feek's passing on Friday afternoon.

"My wife’s greatest dream came true today. She is in Heaven," Rory wrote.

"The cancer is gone, the pain has ceased and all her tears are dry. Joey is in the arms of her beloved brother Justin and using her pretty voice to sing for her savior," he continued.

"At 2:30 this afternoon, as we were gathered around her, holding hands and praying.. my precious bride breathed her last. And a moment later took her first breath on the other side."

Clinging to the strong Christian beliefs he and Joey Feek shared, Rory Feek will now go on to raise their daughter, two-year-old Indiana, as a single dad. And while that struggle is great, Rory faces one that is even greater. Indiana Feek has Down syndrome.

Children with Down syndrome, as Joey and Rory maintained from their moment Joey gave birth to little Indy, are precious gifts from God. No different from other children in so many ways, they love to smile, laugh, play, and fight life's little battles with energy and perseverance. Unlike many other children, kids with Down syndrome endure a lifetime of developmental delays. Some endure a lifetime of physical ailments, too. Some of those ailments include heart problems, poor hearing and eyesight, and a bevy of respiratory illnesses. It's uncertain which--if any--Indiana Feek was born with. Depending on her health concerns, Rory Feek could spend a good part of his life visiting doctors with Indy.

Another concern among parents of children with Down syndrome is who will care for them when their parent or parents are either unable or pass away. Rory Feek is almost 50. Even if he lives into his 80s, Indiana will only be in her 30s. He will need to plan ahead for her care in preparation for the day when he can no longer provide it.

Although many people with Down syndrome grow up to live independent lives, most require some sort of care or supervision for their entire lives.

Fortunately Rory Feek is surrounded by many people who love him, and love Indiana, too. His grown daughters, Hopie and Heidi, are a great source of comfort.

Life won't be easy for Rory Feek in the weeks and months to come. Armed with his faith and his ongoing love for Joey, he will no doubt move forward, doing all Joey Feek expected of him in light of her passing.

It will be interesting to see if Rory Feek holds fast to his claim made in recent weeks, that he won't sing any more once Joey died. His music--even as just half of the country/bluegrass duo Joey + Rory--could be the perfect therapy along his road to healing his aching heart.

Rory will long be reminded of Joey Feek's love--especially when he looks into the face of his sweet little Indiana. Hopefully one day soon he will feel her strength, too, and take the steps needed to make a wonderful life for himself and for his little girl.

Lots of people are praying for Rory Feek and his daughter. He is no doubt surrounded by love at this painful time.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.