In 2011, Trisha Yearwood lost her mom, Gwen Yearwood, to breast cancer. It was one of the most profound losses the now 55-year-old Grammy winner had ever experienced. Now, looking back, Yearwood says it changed the way she lives her life.
“What happens is that you learn to live with something that’s missing, and you learn to find ways to keep them close. It does get better and then there are moments it’s hard,” she told PureWow during an exclusive interview.
Yearwood went on to explain how watching her mother’s battle with breast cancer caused a paradigm shift in her own life: “My sister and I lived with my mom for the last couple of months of her life and it was good time together…It changes your perspective on everything. My life is completely different now with the loss of my mom and my dad. It makes me appreciate and not worry about stuff. But I also really had to find a way to keep [my parents] with me. I see signs of them everywhere and those are the things that bring me comfort,” she revealed. (Editor’s note: Yearwood also lost her father, Jack, in 2005.)
Today, the country music superstar keeps the memory of her parents alive in many ways. “Everything is always about [my parents] for me. The entire cooking show [Trisha’s Southern Kitchen], my sister [Beth Bernard] and I, it’s kind of therapy for us. We get a chance to make the dishes she made and when you make her food and it tastes like her food, you feel connected…My parents are always with us and I feel them strongly.”
This year, Yearwood also honored her mother’s legacy by partnering with JCPenney to donate $2 of every sale of her new album, Every Girl, to the American Cancer Society. She even took it a step further and celebrated the lives of breast cancer warriors by inviting a group of 24 women who have been affected by the devastating disease to her home for an intimate luncheon.
“One of the things that helps me is realizing my experience, while it’s very personal to me and very heartbreaking, is not any different. You can look at anybody and we’ve all experienced loss,” she shared. “The fact that we’re all in this together, this is nothing new, this is just my personal journey.
She concluded, “I miss my mom. I miss both of my parents. My mom was my confidant and I miss her so much, but I totally feel her energy with me.”
We can’t think of a better way to honor the legacy of her late mother during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.