Jim Smeal / BEI / Rex USA 1 / 13
Jim Smeal / BEI / Rex USA 1 / 13

Just give it time. We'll both be fine. When I'm gone.

Those words, from Joey+Rory's song "When I'm Gone," are now a heartbreaking reality for Rory Feek. Joey Feek, Rory's wife, has died after succumbing to an aggressive form of cervical cancer on March 4 at 2:30 PM.

"My wife's greatest dream came true today," Rory wrote on his blog This Life I Live. "She is in Heaven. The cancer is gone. The pain has ceased. And all her tears are dry."

The death, however tragic, was somewhat expected after it was announced in October that the country music star would no longer seek treatment for her terminal disease. On Nov. 9, Rory announced that Joey was being moved to hospice care to live out her final days.

"Joey is at peace with where she is and where she's going," he wrote on Nov. 9 on thislifeilive.com, a website dedicated to his wife's journey. "So am I."

She fought far longer than anyone ever could have imagined and even lived long enough to find out that she and her husband had been nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016. They didn't win.

"The morning after the award show, Joey looked into my eyes and said, 'I'm sorry we didn't win us a Grammy,'" Rory recalled on his blog. "I smiled and said, 'that's okay.' Then jokingly, I added, '…there's always next year.' She smiled back at me and said, 'yes… next year.'"

Really, Joey won by simply continuing to live, even though the odds were most certainly not in her favor.

She leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter, Indiana, whom Rory will continue to raise.

Indy wasn't the only child in Joey's life, as she also helped care for Rory's two daughters from a previous relationship. It was revealed last year that Joey had already said goodbye to her daughters and friends before her passing.

"They don't actually call Joey 'mom.' They never have. I don't know why," Rory wrote of his teenage daughters, Heidi and Hopie. "Maybe they've always been too afraid to completely trust… to completely give all of their hearts over -- afraid that they'll get left again by a woman that they love. But if you look in their contacts on each of the girls' phones, 'Mom' is how Joey's number is listed."

Fellow country star Blake Shelton marveled at the couple prior to Joey's death.

"The courage that they as a family have displayed -- it's inspirational," he told Entertainment Tonight. "I never really got to know [Rory] that well. He was always just someone I kinda knew, but to see what they're going through as a family and what's happening with Joey, what can you say?"

Rory penned Shelton's 2004 hit "Some Beach."

The couple's story was well documented during Joey's last months. In fact, it was so well chronicled that Rory apologized for the "sensational headlines," as he called them. But still, he and his wife were grateful that their story touched people's hearts.

On Feb. 29, he said he was thankful that Joey's story "might possibly help or encourage someone else somewhere. That this life she's living might impact the life of someone that she and I will never meet, and never see, at least this side of heaven.

"That is a good thing," he said, "no, that is a great thing. Thank you."

That same day, Rory said that Joey only had "a few more days" to live.

"Thank you to all who have followed my wife's beautiful journey. Who are still following," he wrote. "Though our hearts are heavy we all need to do our best to remember that this is not the end. It's only the beginning."

"When Joey takes her last breath here… she will take her first breath there," he wrote, "In Heaven."

It wasn't known how long doctors estimated Joey to live after she decided to stop her chemotherapy treatments, but, for Rory, that never mattered.

"The doctors gave us an estimate of how much time they believe that Joey has, and we both looked at the calendar that hangs by our kitchen door, then I took the calendar off the wall and threw in the trash can," he wrote in October. "So we don't have forever. We've got right now. And that's enough."

Rory simply wanted his wife to leave a lasting impression on people, which she certainly did.

"I want my wife to be remembered," he wrote on his long, "by me, by others who love her even though they've never met her… I want her sweet voice and her love to live on. And not just outlive her… but to somehow outlive me, and our girls, and even their children."

Just give it time. We'll both be fine. When I'm gone.