This year, Duane Chapman lost his wife. His partner in (fighting) crime, his ride or die, and his love passed away due to cancer on June 26, 2019.
The Chapmans led a very public life, with their business of bounty hunting televised.
They made their way onto screens and into homes and hearts, and when Beth died, many grieved with the family.
Beth seemed to know when it was her time, calling her husband over to speak to him.
“The last few moments she said, ‘Come in here right now, in the bathroom,'” he told Entertainment Tonight in July. “I went in and she said, ‘Look at me.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, you’re freaking beautiful baby.’ [And she said,] ‘Look at me, Duane Chapman.’ And I did, I always saw Beth and she said, ‘Please, let me go.'”
“And I didn’t even make a decision, I almost said, ‘I can’t.’ Before I could say, ‘Alright,’ she couldn’t breathe and I called the ambulance,” he added. “But every day she talked as if she was not there. ‘Here’s what to do with this, here’s what to do with that. Don’t keep running your mouth. When they ask you a specific question, just answer that.'”
“So, prepared? No, you’re never, ever prepared. You can’t prepare,” Chapman said. “There is no way. I did not know that this was going to happen that day.”
“Each one copes differently, there is a few that really barely making it,” he said. “We don’t know what to do. We haven’t read, we weren’t prepared.”
“I lost my mother first, and when my mom passed away, I’m like, ‘I wish dad would have died first, you know, ’cause I love my mommy.’ So I went to them and said, ‘I’m so sorry that I didn’t die first and mom did.'”
Despite the sadness and loss, Chapman is still able to recall the good times and reflect on his wife’s fiery spirit and caring-but-tough attitude.
He noted recently that when they finally did say their wedding vows, Beth refused to include one particular and familiar line: ’til death do us part. “You’re stuck forever,” Chapman recalled a friend telling him.
“Oh, she was a gangster,” he said Thursday during an interview on ABC’s “Strahan, Sara and Keke.”
“She had a great heart, she was mean — boy, she’s the lion-tamer, and she, uh, it’s like a lion pride — she was the female …” he choked out before fighting back tears.
Her strength of character carried over into the way she wanted her struggle to be portrayed, and she made it clear that she wanted to “show everything” about her battle with cancer, even the terribly unglamorous parts, on their new show that airs on Sept. 4.
Her willingness to show the raw side of her fight surprised even Chapman, who was used to his wife being picture-perfect all the time.
“She was … right on,” he said, nodding tight-lipped.
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