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Fans of the late photographer Linda McCartney who will be in Scotland over the next several months are in for a treat: An exhibit of her photography, The Linda McCartney Retrospective, is going to be held at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow until January 12, 2020. Sir Paul McCartney, to whom she was married for nearly 30 years, recently gave an interview to the BBC in which he opened up about the impact that Linda’s death had on him. This is heartbreaking:
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.”
Paul went on to discuss the death of his mother, who passed when he was 14:
“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.”
I can’t imagine that particular type of grief, though I’ve similarly grieved for very long stretches of time after losing relatives, and quite frankly, haven’t stopped, though I don’t cry all the time anymore. The death of someone to whom you are devoted and deeply in love with is an incalculable loss. I’m glad that Paul let himself cry when he needed to, and I’m sure that people understood. I’m a crier and I can appreciate his comment about how embarrassing it is to cry in public or in front of people whom you ordinarily would be more reserved around. I try to excuse myself if I feel that’s going to happen, but sometimes that’s impossible, and then there’s nothing to do but apologize, find a tissue, and try to rein the crying in or get away after it’s already started, and hope that everyone doesn’t make a big deal about it.
I can also imagine that, given Paul’s deep love for Linda, it was a big deal for him to decide to get married again. His second marriage, in 2002, to Heather Mills, was awful. They divorced in 2008 (he called the marriage “his biggest mistake”) and then he married Nancy Shevell in 2011. Paul is on his Freshen Up tour; maybe once that wraps up, he’ll make an appearance or two at the exhibit of Linda’s photography, surprising some lucky fans!