The musician revealed he cried for nearly a year after his wife Linda died of breast cancer in 1998

By Matt McNulty
July 05, 2019 02:10 PM
Linda and Paul McCartney
Bill Bernstein

Paul McCartney has lost two of the most important women in his life to breast cancer, and opened up about the deaths of both his late wife Linda and his mother in a recent appearance on the BBC.

The Beatles bass guitarist and singer married Linda Eastman back in 1969 and eventually formed the band Wings together, two years later after the breakup of the Beatles.

Linda died in 1998 at age 56 after being diagnosed with breast cancer three years beforehand. McCartney said the loss left him in a state of constant grief for nearly a year.

“I think I cried for about a year on and off. You expect to see them walk in, this person you love, because you are so used to them. I cried a lot,” McCartney told the BBC. “It was almost embarrassing except it seemed the only thing to do.”

Linda Eastman and Paul McCartney
C. Maher/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Image

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It would be a familiar pain for the English singer-songwriter, who had previously lost his mother, Mary McCartney, to the same form of cancer in 1956 at the age of 47. Sir Paul was only 14 at the time of her death.

“Both my mum and Linda died of breast cancer. We had no idea what my mum had died of because no-one talked about it. She just died,” McCartney said of his mother’s passing.

“‘The worse thing about that was everyone was very stoic, everyone kept a stiff upper lip and then one evening you’d hear my dad crying in the next room. It was tragic because we’d never heard him cry.”

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The 77-year-old has since remarried twice, to Heather Mills in 2002 and then again to Nancy Shevell in 2011 after divorcing Mills in 2008.

Linda McCartney’s photography work will be on display at The Linda McCartney Retrospective, which opens at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow on Friday and runs until January 2020, according to the BBC.

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