Losing a Loved One To Cancer
- Actor Patrick Duffy lost his wife to cancer in 2017, but was able to find love again with Linda Purl from “Happy Days.”
- Duffy shared a long and happy life with his wife Carlyn Rosser, who he married in 1974. She passed away in January 2017 after a battle with cancer at 77. The couple had two sons together.
- The “Dallas” star is a prime example of how finding love after loss and grief is possible. It appears the he and Purl are inseparable as they recently traveled abroad to Hungary.
- 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 director, actor, and father of two, is a prime example of how love after grief is possible, even after tragically losing his wife of more than 40 years, Carlyn Rosser, to cancer in 2017.Read More
“Tree of Life sculpture, Budapest Synagogue…Shanatova,” Purl captioned another photo shared a few days earlier.
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According to the Daily News Hungary, Duffy embarked on a trip to Hungary to film a comedy directed by Hungarian producer Csaba Vékes.
He told the Hungarian daily tabloid newspaper Blikk that getting called to do a shooting in Hungary was unexpected as he normally works in New York or Canada.
Duffy quickly “fell in love” with the comedy’s script, Blikk reportedly wrote.
“When my representatives received this phone call asking if I would come to Hungary, I shook my head. He was interested, but I told him that I wanted to see the script first. It was sent and I found it wonderful.” Duffy said during the interview.
“The lucky combination was that I liked the script and I had never been here before, or even to any of the countries of the former Eastern bloc, so I said yes.”
In regard to it being his first time in Budapest, Duffy noted that his friends “always recommended it.”
“The shooting was at the perfect time, there was a little space in my schedule. From there I travel home for a week, but then I work in England for two months. As if the gods wanted me to come to Hungary, and who am I to argue with them?” he added.
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Purl, who is continuing to work on her musical career, recently released her fourth album, titled “This Could Be the Start,” and it’s clear her beloved Duffy is supporting her along the way.
“I have seen all the build up and the recording of Linda’s new CD This Could Be the Start and she is brilliant,” Duffy wrote in a recent Instagram post, featuring what appears to be the cover of her new album.
In the album cover, Purl is seen smiling on stage with a microphone in hand.
More Resources On Coping With Loss
- Dealing With Grief Related to Health Problems
- How to Be Realistically Optimistic: Coping With Mental Health Long-Term
- How to Handle the Emotional Toll of Caring for a Loved One With Cancer: Prioritizing Your Mental Health
- Mental Health and Cancer — The Fight, Flight or Freeze Response
- Mental Health: Coping With Feelings of Anger
- Mental Health: Understanding the Three Wellsprings of Vitality
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Patrick Duffy Finds Love After Loss
Duffy shared a long and happy life with his wife Rosser, who he married in 1974. She passed away in January 2017 after a battle with cancer at 77. The couple had two sons together and a beautiful love story.
The heartbroken actor previously opened up in an interview with Closer magazine, saying that he knew it was forever from the time they met. He said, “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, for life.”
After his wife’s passing, Duffy was candid about how the loss affected him, 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 good to be patient with yourself as you process your grief after losing a loved one to cancer.
Despite the pain Duffy experienced, he and Purl were brought together in 2020. The two were old friends, and their mutual pals initiated a group text prompting everyone to stay connected during the pandemic.
The group chat led the now-loving duo to reconnect, and shortly after they were chatting just the two of them.
When Duffy felt that he and Purl had more than a friendly connection, he drove to visit the “Happy Days” star, 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 previously recounted to People magazine.
Duffy admitted, “I never thought I’d feel this way again,” 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.
“So when it’s offered, think about it, do whatever you do, but don’t ;et it pass you up if it’s the right thing,” he explained.
Moving Through Grief
Grief is a difficult, truly personal process, something Duffy has shown. Some find solace in vulnerability and sharing how they feel with others.
Following his wife’s death, Duffy tweeted: “On this day 6 months ago my heart stopped yet I live on as she wishes We will be together eternally.”
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; Duffy previously spoke about how his Buddhist faith helped him deal with his feelings of loss.
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.
Surviving the Loss of a Partner
Fighting your own cancer battle is one of the toughest experiences in life; watching the disease take someone you love is a different kind of pain. In some cases, a spouse with cancer can take proactive steps to talk about what might come after.
“She wanted to make sure that I knew that it was OK, she really wanted me to have another relationship after she was gone,” one widower told SurvivorNet in an earlier interview.
Meanwhile, John Duberstein lost his wife, writer Nina Riggs, to metastatic triple negative breast cancer. He says that while he was watching her suffer from the disease, he couldn’t help but wish things could go back to normal â€¦ but Riggs had already embraced her new normal.
“I really wanted things to go back to normal, whatever that meant,” Duberstein told SurvivorNet. “She was not for that. She wanted to embrace the existence that she had, even before she knew she was going to die imminently. I did not want to talk about what was going to happen with me after Nina died. Nina is the one that really brought it up, she brought it up a number of times.”
Duberstein explained that even with the pain of losing his wife, and even though he didn’t want to talk about it at the time, he’s so glad they had those seemingly uncomfortable conversations. “In retrospect, I can’t even explain how glad I am that I had that.”
This is a reminder that having those uncomfortable and painful conversations with your partner can be fundamental to your well-being as you move forward in the grieving process, alleviating the guilt felt in starting to date again, and/or eventually marry.
Contributing: SurvivorNet Staff