Loretta Lynn’s Son-in-Law Reveals Some of Her Heartbreaking Last Words

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music)

Loretta Lynn was an icon. Her passing earlier this week hit the country music world like a cosmic gut punch. Part of the reason that it stung so much is that it was so unexpected. As far as the world at large knew, Loretta was just as hale and hearty as ever. Not long ago, she celebrated her 90th birthday and still seemed to be going strong.

I assume that we didn’t know anything was wrong because that’s how Loretta Lynn wanted it. Maybe she wanted us to remember her as the strong, defiant, trailblazing icon we’d known for decades. On the other hand, she might have balked at the thought of countless fans fretting over her failing health. We’ll probably never know. We do, however, know that Loretta knew the end was coming.

Loretta Lynn Knew She Was Going to Pass Away

Recently, singer-songwriter Todd Snider wrote about his time with Loretta Lynn in a piece for Variety. He mentions in the article that he knew Lynn through her daughter Peggy who is married to one of his best friends, Mark Marchetti.

To close the article, Snider stated that Loretta Lynn’s son-in-law was there at Hurricane Mills on the icon’s final day. On the afternoon of October 4th, Lynn told Marchetti, “I’m going to Heaven tonight.”

Even in acknowledging her mortality, Loretta Lynn showed who she is deep inside. Now, this is just speculation, but those don’t sound like the words of someone who was afraid. It sounds as though she had accepted her fate and was ready to head up to Glory. Loretta knew she would soon be with her husband and her children Betty Sue and Jack Benny.

Loretta Was a Trailblazer

Loretta Lynn inspired generations of female country singers. More than that, she cut the path for them to follow. Lynn was the first woman to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association (1972) and the Academy of Country Music (1975). She reached those heights by being unapologetically herself.

The fearlessness that she showed in her final hours is part of what made Loretta Lynn the icon she is. She wrote from her heart and often pulled her lyrics straight from her experiences. Lynn never shied away from the hardest parts of life as a woman. She lived songs like “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on You Mind)”, “Fist City”, “The Pill”, and more.

Loretta Lynn had several songs banned from the radio because programmers deemed their lyrical content inappropriate. She was just showing the world what life looked like for her and thousands of other women like her. She once told the Associated Press, “It was what I wanted to hear and what I knew other women wanted to hear, too. I didn’t write for the men, I wrote for the women. The men loved it, too.”