Love After Loss
- Duane Chapman, more commonly known to the world as “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” is experiencing the stress and trauma that often comes with losing a loved one to cancer as he didn’t invite two of his daughters to his wedding next month.
- Daughters Cecily and Bonnie Chapman believe they weren’t invited because they look like their mother, highlighting their father’s grief two years after losing their mother and his late wife, Beth Chapman, to cancer.
- Recovering after losing a loved one to cancer, especially a partner, isn’t a “one-and-done” process; one widower even says that the idea of “moving on” isn’t realistic, or even desired.
Chapman, 68, is getting ready to marry fiancée Francie Frane, 51, next month, but two of his daughters didn’t make the guest list.Read More
Chapman’s two girls, Cecily and Bonnie Chapman, believe they weren’t invited to the festivities because they look a little “too” much like their late mother and Duane Chapman’s fourth wife, Beth Chapman. Beth died on June 26, 2019, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
Moreover, the girls say their brother Garry — who is also a biological child of Duane and Beth — has been invited to the wedding. But Cecily and Bonnie say it’s because he doesn’t look like their mom, Beth.
“We love Cecily and Bonnie very much, as we do all of our family,” Duane and Francie said in a joint statement following the news. “We pray for their health and happiness every day. Beyond this statement, we wish to keep any family issues private.”
Beth Chapman’s Cancer Battle
Beth Chapman died in June 2019 after a roughly two-year battle with cancer. She was first diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in 2017 after she sought medical treatment for a persistent cough. Her doctors said the cancer was caught early and they were able to successfully remove a tumor she had later that year.
Her doctors declared her cancer-free not long after the operation to remove the tumor.
But about a year later, Beth Chapman learned that the cancer had spread to her lungs, and she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She died seven months later surrounded by her loved ones at a hospital in Honolulu, just a few days after she was placed in a medically induced coma.
Duane and Beth were married for 13 years before her untimely death. She is survived by four children — Dominic, Cecily, Bonnie Jo and Garry — as well as 14 grandchildren. She was also the legal guardian of one of her grandchildren.
In an exclusive interview with SurvivorNet published last year, Bonnie said it was widely reported that her mother died from throat cancer, “but it was actually stage IV lung cancer in the end,” she said, adding that her mother decided to forgo chemotherapy treatment.
“She did try one round of chemo,” Bonnie said, “and it did not go well for her. She had very severe symptoms.”
“She had complained about every single joint in her body starting to ache,” Bonnie continued, “about her not being able to get up by herself to use the bathroom. It was hell to her.”
Bonnie also shared some of the final moments her mother experienced during her cancer battle, just days before being placed into a coma.
“My dad goes over and over and over what happened because he can’t get it out of his head,” Bonnie said. “She quite literally choked on her cancer.”
Bonnie said that her mother was naked in the bathroom and told Duane to look at her. He said, “I am looking at you,” and Beth said, “No, look at me.”
“Then she was standing there and she started gasping, and my sister came into the room and they called 911 immediately,” Bonnie recalled, “and that was the last moment that we really saw her completely conscious.”
Duane “Dog The Bounty Hunter” Chapman opens up to SurvivorNet about losing his beloved wife, Beth Chapman, to cancer.
Coping with Losing a Loved One; Love After Loss
Recovering after losing a loved one to cancer, especially a partner, isn’t a “one-and-done” process, many members of the SurvivorNet community have told us; one widower even told us that the idea of “moving on” isn’t realistic, or even desired.
“I don’t even think I want to move on,” Doug Wendt, who lost his wife of 25 years to ovarian cancer, said in an interview with SurvivorNet. “But I do want to move forward, and that’s an important distinction. I encourage anyone who goes through this journey as a caregiver who then has to face loss to think very carefully about how to move forward.”
The point is that moving on and dealing with grief is different for everyone; Duane Chapman’s experience moving on has been different than Wendt’s experience, and that’s OK.
Dealing with the grief of losing a loved one and recovering from that experience is a highly personal process, and everyone goes through it differently.
Duane Chapman told ET last year that he felt “very bad” about wanting to have someone else in his life after Beth died. But then upon reading the Bible, he said he discovered Adam and Eve’s story.
“I went to the Bible, Genesis, and found out how Adam got Eve … as I was going to find the exact story, I saw the scripture that says, ‘God does not want a man to be alone.’ That he knows we need a companion, whether we’re a man or a woman,” Duane Chapman said.
Francie, a rancher from Colorado, also lost her husband to cancer — about six months before Duane lost his wife to cancer. It’s a bond the two share.
“We hooked up on the phone and started talking to each other, crying and consoling each other,” Duane told TMZ last year, “and then one thing led to another. It’s just incredible that I’ve been able to meet someone like her.”
Duane revealed the date of their wedding, set for Sept. 2, during an appearance on the podcast, “Two Guys From Hollywood.”
There are going to be some really hard conversations when losing a partner to cancer. John Duberstein, who lost his wife to cancer, explains why those conversations are worth it.