"Swayze and wife Lisa, gave a touching and powerful interview about their 36 year relationship with Barbara Walters, which aired on January 8th. The couple told Walters about their belief that they were soul mates and had known each other before. Swayze credited his wife's support with his ability to endure and face his illness "with gracefulness."
Lisa revealed that when she first heard the news about his cancer and prognosis she said, " How dare you, you have to stay here." They both agreed that had this situation been reversed, he would have had an angrier reaction than Lisa.Understanding how they each react, can help them better support each other.
The Swayzes are doing many things that are helpful for couples facing a life threatening illness. They are discussing not only the impact of the illness on the everyday functioning of their lives, but also reflecting on how grateful they are for the life they have shared together.
They also recently renewed their wedding vows which can help couples ritualize their commitment to one another. The memoir may also serve as an important way of memorializing and understanding the life they share. The words on the printed page can make their experiences more concrete and provides an enduring legacy in a way that verbalization of their memories can not."
The courage to review their lives together,at this sensitive time, can provide inspiration to other couples who may be fearful that this would mean they were saying goodbye or giving up hope. Although it may be emotionally painful, this shared intimacy can actually be helpful to better cope with the challenges ahead."