“I haven’t gotten past the place where I’m [not] putting a pillow where she was and covering it up,” Duane told ET’s Kevin Frazier during an intimate sit-down at his Colorado home this week. “And then I wake up in the middle of the night and I see her and it doesn’t register that [it] ain’t her. I’m still there.”
“I wake up to always touch her, especially when she was sick I’d have to wake up a few times when she stopped breathing. I couldn’t hear it no more,” he recalled. “And she’s laying and I’m like, ‘You are not dying like that. I will not let you die.’ So I’m so used to that that I don’t sleep solid anymore.”
Beth’s death has also taken a toll on Duane’s body, as he revealed he has no appetite and lost “17 pounds in two weeks.” “I can’t eat. Two bites, I’m full. I got to force feed myself like I force fed her,” he admitted.
He also explained that his wife would help him read the menus at restaurants because the lighting would be so dim and he needs glasses — “I can use those” — but now he “can’t see the freakin’ menu.”
“I would go, ‘What do I want today, honey?’ and she would name two things,” he explained. “I never ordered…I’m having a hard time ordering food. I’ve lost 17 pounds. Chewing ice helps, and I’ve lost 17 pounds in about two weeks.”
While it’s clear that he’s still processing Beth’s death, he did share that he’s “got a whole new look on life.”
“People would say I lived a long and great life, sometimes a hard life,” he said, explaining that while he has no suicidal thoughts, he’s “ready” to join Beth. “Well, of course. I said, ‘You beat me to this.'”
For now, he’s using his pain to help and connect with others. “I went through experiences to help others — I really mean this. The other day I met [a guy]. He goes, ‘Dog, you know I love you. I’m sorry, I lost my wife six months ago,’ and I hugged him and I felt a connection like, boom, instantly brotherhood, right,” he shared. “So when you go through something and somebody else [goes through the same thing], there’s something there. That’s why I’m going through it, but I use that thing that’s bad to help me help others.”
Tune in to Thursday’s ET for more from our exclusive sit-down with Duane. Watch a sneak peek in the video below.