“Even in his book, he described that he wanted his final day to be sitting on his swing next to his wife, Jean, and kind of watching the horizon and he got to do that. He was coherent, he wasn’t in pain and the fact that he had a nice, final day makes all of us in the ‘Jeopardy!’ family feel much better.” - "Jeopardy!" executive producer Mike Richards
Talk to anyone who's had to nurse someone afflicted with Pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most insidious and cruel of all the cancers (and that is one tough power ranking), and they'll tell you that moments of peace and comfort are rare. And if you've ever been at a loved one's side as they've drawn their last breath (I regretfully raise my hand), you realize that powerful, dramatic, inspiring death bed speeches are very much the stuff of fiction. In either case, when you're with someone who's passed the last mail stop in this one way journey that we are all on, the best any of us can hope for is that they shuffle off this mortal coil painlessly, tranquilly and according to their wishes.
For the record, the wife this refers to is not his first wife, the Playboy Bunny:
This is Jean, the wife of 30 years he sat on that porch swing with:
Source - "With Jean it just happened," Trebek wrote in his memoir The Answer Is…Reflections On My Life. "Sometimes you look at something, you look at someone, and you know. I mean, you've heard stories of people who meet and decide within half an hour; I knew this was going to be the person I'd end up with. With Jeanie that's how it was. I wasn't looking for love. But I recognized at a gut level that here was someone who was going to complete me as a human being."
Despite the 24-year age gap, they were drawn to each other and hit it off immediately. "There was just this deep sensitivity about him with a gruffy [sic] exterior," Currivan told People in January 2019. "I kept thinking, he's 24 years older than me…but there was something that just kept drawing me to him."
We should all be so lucky. If we're not going to our Great Reward gallantly falling in a victorious battle for some worthy cause or heroically sacrificing our lives to save others, it's not too much to ask that you bid farewell in the arms of the one who completed you as a human being, gazing off at the horizon. When you brought as much happiness to the human race as Alex Trebek did, you deserve at least that much.
So do yourself a favor. Decide how you want your last moments to be, and do what you can to make it so. I want mine to either be telling my family I left clues to a pirate's treasure encoded in my will, or to be shot by a jealous husband when I'm 100. But this porch swing idea is really resonating with me right now.
Godspeed to the King of Television Intellect. This story makes it easier to say goodbye.