Almost six months after the death of her husband Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, his widow Jean opened up to Today anchor Savannah Guthrie about the death of her husband and his ongoing legacy.
Jean’s grief at her husband’s loss was still palpable as she discussed moving on without him and what her husband would have been most shocked about after his death.
Jean remembers her husband as ‘resolute’
Guthrie in her conversation with Jean Trebek noted the late quiz show host’s straightforward dealing with the illness he was living with. The Canadian-born television personality did not express pity for himself nor did he shy away from the topic with his viewers and the public. It was what it was.
“I think that is one of Alex’s gifts was that he could be very resolute and know that the truth will not hurt you, and he wanted to empower people to move through whatever challenge they had in life with a sense of inner strength, inner dignity and love,” Jean told Guthrie in their conversation.
Alex Trebek wanted to be ‘a spokesman for the underdog’
Jean remembered her husband’s heart for those who didn’t have the advantages in life that he had enjoyed. Alex, his wife recalled, didn’t just express concern for people, he acted on it.
“He loved representing the underdeveloped countries, communities,” Jean said. “He really wanted to be a spokesman for the underdog.”
The Trebeks took their children to a Zambian village they supported financially to allow them to understand how others lived and the importance of helping improve others’ lives if it was within their means to do so.
“We decided to take the children to Africa just to show, ‘Look, this is where help is needed,”’ Trebek said. “And Alex and I were big fans of that, actually demonstrating that in our family.”
His daughter Emily told Today that her father would have been astounded at the expressions of love for him after his death.
“He would have been shocked, honestly,” she said. “I think he knew he was loved and revered, but I don’t think to this level. The support and the love that’s been shown since he passed has really been on another level… He would have really appreciated it. It would mean a lot to him.”
Jean spoke on the ‘waves of grief’ she experiences
Since his death in November, the mother of three explained she has days that are better than others. And days that are painfully difficult.
“I think right now, talking with you, I’m good,” she said. “You know? I’m good. I absolutely have moments of waves of grief that just come over me. I miss him a lot.
“We were both the yin and the yang to each other [and] just knew how to dance. We really loved each other…really loved being in life together.”
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