A Life without Merle Haggard
When Merle passed away on his 79th birthday on April 6, 2016, Theresa was justifiably devastated. Theresa found it challenging to accept that her husband is really gone even a year after his death.
“I’m just now picking myself up out of the dirt, and barely,” Theresa told Rare Country in an emotional interview. “I’m barely walking, cause I lost my everything. He was my world.”
It was even a challenge for Theresa Ann Lane to listen to Merle Haggard’s music. The pain of the loss has been so severe that she can’t turn on the radio for fear of hearing his songs. “It’s been hard,” she says, “to even look at pictures because it’s been too emotional.”
All that changed when she attended the Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard tribute concert in Nashville in 2017. She stood on stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena – behind her was a billboard-size portrait of her husband while in front of her was a sea of fans eager for a reminder that Merle Haggard lives on in his music.
“Tonight’s really hard, but it’ll be good,” she said. “It’s a good hard. It’s a lovefest.”
The three-hour event is composed of an extensive list of stars offering Theresa and the fans ample evidence of Merle Haggard’s immortality. Some of the notable stars present in the event were Miranda Lambert, who channeled the Merle gloom in “Misery and Gin,” Hank Williams Jr, Dierks Bentley, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson and so much more.
Before the night ended, Theresa Haggard – who sang, danced, and cried through the concert – thanked the artists and said what was on everyone’s minds: “I know Haggard is here right now.”