Rory Feek/This Life I Live
As Joey Feek reached the end of her time on this Earth, she made a list of simple requests for her funeral service. More than anything else, she wanted a dear friend to sing a special song at her graveside. In a new post to his blog, This Life I Live, Rory writes that this was Joey’s “last request.”
Ever since Joey+Rory heard the hymn “Leave It There” on their honeymoon in Montana, they had a feeling the song would be important to them someday. Their feelings were spot on, because as Joey planned her funeral, she asked Rory to have someone sing the song during her service.
But Joey didn’t want just anyone to sing “Leave it There” at her graveside. She specifically requested that their dear friend, Bradley Walker, sing it for her. Rory writes that the reason Joey wanted Bradley to sing at her service was because he was “one of the sweetest men, and voices she’d ever known.”
When Bradley sang during Joey’s funeral, other people took notice of the sweet voice that Joey treasured so much. In that instant, Joey’s dying wish helped change the life of one of her dear friends, as Rory writes:
“When Bradley sang ‘Leave It There’ at Joey’s service that day, there were a lot of friends at her graveside. One of those, was [gospel singer-songwriter and record producer] Bill Gaither. And somewhere in the service I’m told…while Bradley’s deep baritone voice was singing my bride to heaven…Bill leaned over and asked someone, ‘who’s that?'”
The two men in charge of Bill’s record label were also at the service, and were equally touched by Bradley’s beautiful voice. Before he knew it, Rory was helping Bradley record his debut album filled with faith-based songs, which he says should be released sometime this fall.
Rory can’t help but feel as though Joey knew all along that Bradley’s life would change as soon as he opened his mouth to sing at her service. As for Bradley, who works at a power plant and has muscular dystrophy, Rory says he can’t believe this is happening to him.
“He can’t stop pinching himself,” Rory writes. “He so, so deserves it. Bradley has a story to tell. A unique story that God is telling with his life…and with his voice and his wheelchair and his muscular dystrophy and especially…his wonderful heart.“
Bradley also filmed a TV special in Joey+Rory’s old concert hall one day, and after it was over he went out to the cemetery to sing “Leave It There” for Joey once more. You can watch his beautiful performance below, and once you do, you’ll understand why Joey wanted him to sing at her service.
Even though she’s gone, Joey is continuing to touch lives and make a difference in this world.
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