Coping With The Loss of a Loved One
- Actor Patrick Duffy lost his wife to cancer in 2017, but was able to find love again with Linda Purl from “Happy Days,” someone he appears to spend most of his time with. The pair appear to be back in Oregon after traveling overseas for a comedy filming.
- The “Dallas” star is a prime example of how finding love after loss and grief is possible.
- Duffy’s late wife Carlyn Rosser, who he married in 1974, passed away in January 2017 after a battle with cancer at 77. The couple had two sons together.
- Grief is a difficult, truly personal process, something Duffy has shown. Some find solace in vulnerability and sharing how they feel with others.
- While working through grief and vulnerable tackling of the emotions that accompany it, some find tools like therapy to be helpful. Support groups can also be a benefit for those who are feeling isolated in their feelings of grief. Faith can also be a powerful coping mechanism for some.
- Whichever methods of support you look for after cancer loss, you should know that there is no correct way to grieve. There is no perfect timeline for grieving, either.
The charming couple took to social media this week to upload some sweet photographs of their most recent excursion to the Beaver State, Oregon — a trip that followed Duffy’s recent Budapest getaway to film a comedy directed by Hungarian producer Csaba Vékes.
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Purl is seen smiling gently for the selfie as she leans her head on Duffy’s shoulder, in a location they tagged as “Medford/Jacksonville/Ashland Oregon.”
The “Happy Days” star followed up with dozens of hashtags in the comments section of her post, “#couples #romanticcouples #PatrickDuffy #love #travels #adventures #patrickduffy #actorslife #goforit #nevergiveup #duffysdough #curious #lindapurl #bestlife #matlock
“#Theboldandthebeautiful#classictv #theoffice #happydaysfans #couplesofinstagram #lifejourney #lifeisstrange #lifepurpose #lifestory #lifestylemodel #nightout #relationships #relationship #instalove.”
With the abundance of hashtags, it seems their relationship is thriving as they are enjoying a new adventure together.
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Fans also took to the comments section of the post, with some saying, “I see contentment!” and “Now that’s a beautiful couple!”
Another fan wrote, “As an Oregon native, I can say we have the best of a lot of worlds. Ocean, mountains and desert within hours is each other. Rural to metropolitan within hours as well.”
Purl also shared another heartwarming photo of her and Duffy sitting closely, looking out at a lake.
“Sweet spot on the lake,” she captioned the post.
Expert Resources On Coping With Loss
- How to Be Realistically Optimistic: Coping With Mental Health Long-Term
- Dealing With Grief Related to Health Problems
- Mental Health and Cancer — The Fight, Flight or Freeze Response
- How to Handle the Emotional Toll of Caring for a Loved One With Cancer: Prioritizing Your Mental Health
- Mental Health: Understanding the Three Wellsprings of Vitality
According to Taste of Country, Oregon is home to Duffy as he and his family own a luxurious ranch, outside of Medford, surrounded by more than 300 acres of nature
The house is now on sale and listed for $10,995,000. The property listing reads: “Welcome to The Duffy Ranch, owned for the last three decades by actor & TV icon Patrick Duffy. Located just outside Medford, Oregon, this is one of the most pristine properties in the Pacific Northwest, with 329+/- acres (79 acres zoned RR5) set along 2 miles on the majestic Rogue River offering unique privacy and security. The property offers 9 parcels, 2 homes & 2 guest cabins.
“The lodge-style primary residence on 79 riverfront acres has an inviting character with custom touches, including an art gallery, a walkway to a spa cabin and wine cave, pool house, and large garden, 100 acres of irrigated ground and a tranquil 2-acre recreation/irrigation pond.”
The listing concludes, “An abundance of wildlife thrives here, including a resident elk herd, turkeys, a vast array of birds, and large black-tail deer. Rarely does a special property like this come on the market. It will be greatly appreciated by those seeking a true generational sanctuary.”
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Love After Loss
Patrick Duffy, who often shares entertaining videos with Purl promoting his “Duffys Dough” products, previously shared a fortunate life with his late wife Rosser, whom he married back in 1974.
The actor, who shares two sons with Rosser, was heartbroken when she passed away at age 77 from cancer in January 2017– so much so that he couldn’t fathom the thought of finding love after her.
In an earlier interview with Closer magazine, Duffy revealed he knew it [Rosser and his relationship] was forever from the time they met.
Duffy told the celeb news outlet, “I was an immature college graduate touring as narrator with this dance production, and she was a beautiful ballerina 10 years older. We met on the tour bus and that was it– for life.”
After Rosser passed away, Duffy was open regarding how he was affected by the loss, telling Closer, “I know what she would expect of me, and I try and live up to that. I feel close to her all the time, [but] what I miss most is her touch.”
“I still consider myself a married man,” Duffy said in 2019, showing us how grieving is an ongoing process, and that it’s best to have patience within yourself as you process your emotions after losing a loved one to cancer.
However, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Duffy and Purl’s mutual friends initiated a group text to bring to stay in touch throughout the new times of social distancing.
It was that group chat that initiated the reconnection of Duffy and Purl.
Once Duffy felt that and Purl had established more than just a friendly connection, he drove to visit her, where they quarantined together.
“I loaded up my car and drove 20 hours and ended up on her doorstep just to see if it was real. We haven’t been apart since,” he told People magazine.
“I never thought I’d feel this way again,” Duffy admitted, noting that he thinks his wife would be happy for him.I feel quite honestly, that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, the fact that we are intended to be happy.”
He concluded, “So when it’s offered, think about it, do whatever you do, but don’tt let it pass you up if it’s the right thing.”
If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, or from any other mental health-related issue, check out SurvivorNet’s resources on taking care of yourself.
How Support Makes a Difference
In the aftermath of Patrick Duffy’s wife’s death, the actor took to Twitter to remember his wife, writing, “On this day 6 months ago my heart stopped yet I live on as she wishes We will be together eternally.”
On this day 6 months ago my heart stopped yet I live on as she wishes We will be together eternally Thank you for the love and concern ❤️🙏💃🍀
— Patrick Duffy (@therealpduffy) June 23, 2017
When asked by a fan on what they could do to help, Duffy said, “Keep her in your hearts.”
Whether you’re in the midst of a cancer battle, fulfilling the duties of being a caretaker or coping with the loss of a loved one, it’s important that everyone involved in a cancer journey gets the support they need.
Support groups, or connecting with just one other person, can make a major difference in helping someone feel less alone during a tough time. Even religious support, like the Buddhist faith, something can help with the feelings that come with loss.
Making connections with those who have gone through shared experiences can really make an impact on how you cope as well as move forward with your life. In the case of Doug Wendt, who lost his wife Alice to ovarian cancer, he learned an important lesson in the difference between “moving on” and “moving forward” after losing a spouse to cancer.
“We’re never gonna move on, I don’t even think I want to move on, but I do want to move forward,” Doug told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
“That’s an important distinction and I encourage anybody who goes through this journey as a caregiver and then has to face loss, to think very carefully about how to move forward.”
Tips for Dealing With Cancer in Your Relationship
Cancer can place a huge strain on any relationship. The state of your relationship with your significant other before a cancer diagnosis can influence how you both endure the cancer journey.
Psychologist Susan McDaniel said in an earlie that cancer can either strengthen healthy relationships or widen the divide for couples already facing conflict.
So when you’re faced with a diagnosis or treatment, it can help to lean on the bond you’ve built with your partner.
For healthy couples confronted with cancer, “They recognize how they feel about each other, the petty stuff drifts away. There’s a certain kind of intimacy in having to face something really serious,” Dr. McDaniel said.
“For couples where there’s already significant difficulties that haven’t been resolved, and if the illness hits at some of that, then it’s really hard,” Dr. McDaniel added.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff