Suzanne Somers‘ longtime husband Alan Hamel recalled his final days with his wife of 46 years during a virtual appearance on the Today show.
The Canadian producer told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie that he was going in and out of grief, following Somers’ death on Sunday in Palm Springs after a 23-year battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer. He explained that in some moments he feels like everything is OK, and then when he remembers she’s gone, he goes into his grief again.
In their final moments together, Hamel shared that he knew what was coming. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised,” he told the daytime talk show hosts. “She was heavy breathing at the very end, and I gave her a pill to relax the breathing, but it didn’t work.”
He explained he was grateful he was with her when she passed away. “It was very peaceful, and it was beautiful. And she was beautiful. And we had the whole family come, and they’ve been here ever since. And we’ve been very upbeat about what’s going on. There hasn’t been a grim moment. Every time I feel it coming on, I leave the room so I can be alone. But that’s life, I don’t know what else to do.”
In the weeks leading up to her death, Hamel could sense he was losing his partner of 55 years (and spouse of 46), though she was doing OK. She wanted to discuss her legacy and the products she and Hamel sell through her website SuzanneSomers.com. But he didn’t want to talk about losing her.
He also gushed to the hosts that she was such an amazing person and helped merge their families when they tied the knot with children from previous marriages.
“My life is going to change,” Hamel shared. “I don’t care one way or another, and we had talked about this day coming, and we thought it was going to be me because I’m 10 years older. If that happened she would be alone, which was a terrible conundrum, the idea of her being alone.”
The entertainer also spoke to People magazine following Somers’ death, where he explained that the couple had returned to Palm Springs on Thursday after a six-week trip to Chicago to address the mobility issues she was having caused by a fall.
Immediately after returning home, Somers seemed fine. She was eating and taking her medications, but by Saturday, her health had taken a turn. She was unresponsive to his questions and no longer had an appetite for food or desire to take her medicine. Normally, in situations like this, families often take their loved ones to the hospital, but Hamel knew she didn’t want to go.
“I was staying up most of the night just talking to her,” he told the publication. “Then, I kissed her, and she responded to that, and it was a physical response with her lips. I knew she was still with us, and I knew that she could probably hear what I was saying.”