Jean Trebek Says She Has ‘Waves of Grief’ 6 Months After Alex Trebek’s Death

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Kayla Blanton
·2 min read
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Six months after losing her husband Alex Trebek to pancreatic cancer, Jean Trebek is opening up about the grieving process and reflecting on the Jeopardy! host’s legacy.

Today’s Savannah Guthrie interviewed the widow for the NBC Special Inspiring America: The 2021 Inspiration List, which aired on Saturday, and asked her how she was doing.

“I think right now, talking with you, I’m good. You know? I’m good,” she explained. “[But] I absolutely have moments of waves of grief that just come over me. Still… really disbelief that he’s gone. I miss him a lot.”

They spent the rest of the interview talking about Alex’s impact and how deeply he cared about making a difference. That’s why Jean and the Jeopardy! team chose to donate his hosting wardrobe to those in need, and why she recently dedicated a new homeless shelter in Los Angeles to him, which was partly funded by her family through the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, per Today.

“He was deeply grateful to be part of the solution,” Jean said. “We both saw the rise of homelessness. Now we have this beautiful bridge house that’s being built right now to help people.”

They also gave back to their community through scholarship funds, public park spaces, and more through World Vision. “He loved representing the underdeveloped countries, communities,” Jean continued. “He really wanted to be a spokesman for the underdog.”

Alex also wanted to instill those values into his children, which is why he once took the family on a trip to Zambia to see a school and community center they supported. There, a woman offered Alex her baby in exchange for help, which really jarred him, Jean recalled.

“I think that moment, meeting that woman, he was like, ‘Wow,’ and then you’re left [with], “What more can I do?’”

Guthrie also interviewed Alex and Jean’s daughter, Emily Trebek, and asked her what she thought her dad would make of the outpouring of love that still surrounds him after his death.

“I think he would’ve been shocked, honestly,” Emily said. “I think he knew he was loved and revered, but I don’t think to this level. I think that the support and the love that’s been shown since he passed has really been on another level. And I think he would’ve really appreciated it. I think it would mean a lot to him.”

Jean agreed, and is glad he spent his last days doing what he loved—hosting Jeopardy!. “I think that I knew his life on Earth here would wrap up quickly when he could no longer do the show,” she said. “But he wanted to finish strong, and he did. And he lived life on his own terms.”

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