Lisa feels Patrick's presence around her every day and believes that she hasn't lost him.
The legendary actor Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi met as teenagers, married in 1975, and remained together until his death on September 14, 2009. Lisa still misses him despite the fact that he died of pancreatic cancer more than ten years ago.
She recalls in the documentary titled, I Am Patrick Swayze, "The first time Buddy and I danced together was at a school exhibition. We walked out on stage. I looked in his eyes, it was like everything came alive."
She told Entertainment Tonight, "It's the worst thing in the world to go through. You spend every day fighting for that person's life. I know that he spent every day fighting for his own...He survived 22 months, which was miraculous with the diagnosis that he received."
In her 2011 memoir, Worth Fighting For, Lisa wrote about the heartbreaking final private moment she spent with Dirty Dancing star. She wrote, per Daily Mail, "My last words to Patrick? ‘I love you,’ and he responded with "I love you" as well. He had slipped into a coma and was brought home. Things went very fast." She added, "I cherished our time alone, holding his hand, listening to music, sleeping with my arm around him, my head on his shoulder, wordlessly."
"In the quiet of Monday morning, September 14, I looked at his face and listened to the tiny sips of air he was taking. There was something delicate, childlike about it. I knew it was time."
Remembering the talented Patrick Swayze ten years after he died from pancreatic cancer. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/miLT21I9ti— Yahoo Entertainment (@YahooEnt) September 14, 2019
Indeed it was a long romantic relationship and for Lisa, to let go of the grief of losing her husband of 34 years is difficult. She stated in a 2019 documentary that she feels his presence every day and that he still exists in her dreams. "In the beginning, you kind of think the pain is going to help you hold on to them, and it doesn’t. But I haven’t lost him, and that was my fear," she said.
She recalls one incident where she felt Patrick's presence around her. She said, "I was driving down the road, and Emmylou Harris’s version of ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ was playing on the radio, and I really got that he’s just on the other side, almost so close I could touch him," per Far Out Magazine.
The actor fought the illness for 22 months before it led to his death at 57 years of age. However, Patrick wrote in his memoir The Time of My Life, that the diagnosis made him realize how amazing his life had been. He wrote, "I began thinking to myself, I’ve had more lifetimes than any 10 people put together, and it’s been an amazing ride. So this is okay."
It's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month! Each day, we'll be sharing an inspiring story of someone impacted by #pancreaticcancer. We're kicking it off with Lisa Niemi Swayze, who lost her husband, Patrick Swayze, to the disease. Share your stories using #PanCANforProgress 💜 pic.twitter.com/gVCw6fD9CD— PanCAN (@PanCAN) November 2, 2020
Lisa is still attempting to cope with her grief on her own. She texted his number while boarding a plane a year after he died. She told People Magazine, "I just put what I always did: 'I love you.' And then I cried for a little bit to myself. It [the text message] didn't come back. So either somewhere out there received it, or someone's going, 'Somebody loves me!' And you know what? I figured it was a win-win situation."
She married jeweler Albert DePrisco in 2014, but she still hopes to be reunited with Patrick one day. She said, "Yeah. He’ll be waiting for me. And that’s a wonderful thing."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Mark Mainz