Duane “Dog” Chapman spoke out Thursday about the death one day before of his 51-year-old wife Beth Chapman, who had been battling cancer since 2017.
Speaking to reporters, he referenced John 11, which chronicles the miraculous encounter that resulted in Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
“I love her so much,” Chapman said of Beth, according to TMZ. “As Lazarus laid, Jesus said, ‘He’s not dead. He’s sleeping.’ My final words were, ‘Beth isn’t dead. She’s sleeping.”
Earlier during his remarks, the famous TV star, who has been outspoken about his Christian faith, joked his late wife was a “control person.”
“And so not from the grave, but from heaven,” he said, “I’m sure she’s still controlling me.”
On Wednesday, when he announced her passing, Chapman wrote on Twitter that Beth “hiked the stairway to heaven.”
As for Beth, she was very transparent about her battle with cancer and how her Christian faith gave her strength in the midst of the difficult struggle.
Speaking at a Mother’s Day service at The Source Church in Bradenton, Florida, in May, Beth described her fight against cancer as “the ultimate test of faith,” adding, “It is the evidence of things hoped for and it is the substance of things not known.”
“I am not defeated by my weakness and endure in this treatment,” she said. “When I am surrounded with troubles on every side, and when I face persecution, because of my love for Christ, I am made yet stronger now.”
Beth was first diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017. Soon thereafter, she underwent a successful 13-hour surgery to remove a massive tumor from her neck. But in November 2018, the disease resurfaced as stage-four lung cancer.
She was rushed to the hospital in April, when doctors discovered nearly four liters of fluid in her lungs. Beth passed away in Hawaii, where they lived, on Wednesday at 5:32 a.m.