Nearly 13 years after Patrick Swayze’s death, his widow reports feeling his presence.
On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the release of Dirty Dancing, Lisa Niemi Swayze, who was married to the late actor from 1975 until his death at age 57 in 2009 from pancreatic cancer, told Entertainment Tonight that her late husband was “one of a kind.”
Lisa, 66, acknowledged that the 13 years since their separation are “quite a bit of time on paper,” but added that it is “very strange” to have someone so far away and yet still so incredibly close in your heart.
She went on to say that although she felt his presence every day, it would be nice to have him there in person. But I’ll tell you what: we had a wonderful journey, and we have much for which to be thankful.
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VIEW THE Associated Gallery HERE: An Image History of Patrick Swayze
Early in 2008, Swayze was informed that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, stage IV. His passing occurred on September 14, 2009, barely more than a year and a half later.
The actor, who would have turned 70 on Thursday, was passionate about dancing and horses in addition to his many other pursuits and was known for them in such films as Dirty Dancing (1987) and Ghost (1990).
Nothing about him is something I don’t miss,” Lisa told ET. He’s full of enthusiasm for life and all that, but what really matters to him are the little things.
She explained that the physical aspects of a person’s presence are things like hearing his voice or smelling his scent.
WATCH: Patrick Swayze’s wife plans to auction off some of her late husband’s most cherished possessions in order to spread the word about her late husband’s “incredible life.”
Lisa has been open about how she continues to pay tribute to Swayze’s memory on a daily basis, telling PEOPLE in advance of the upcoming 10th anniversary of his death, “I still feel like he’s in my life.”
She said that once the initial shock of a loved one’s death wears off, “you actually become close in a different way.”
The way he dealt with his illness “showed himself to be a true hero,” Lisa said.
She went on to say, “I saw wisdom in him that was beyond anything I’d seen before.”
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