Duane “Dog” Chapman is opening up about one of the final conversations he had with his late wife, Beth Chapman.
ET’s Kevin Frazier exclusively sat down with the 66-year-old Dog’s Most Wanted star at his Colorado home, where he talked about how Beth had expressed her desire to be cremated before she died. Beth died on June 26 at the age of 51 after a battle with cancer.
Beth’s body has now been cremated and her ashes have been placed in a pink box, and Duane reveals the conversation they had about what she wanted to be done with her remains.
“Well, I’ve never done ashes in my life,” Duane tells ET. “And that’s what she wanted. And then she wants me to do it and put the same thing, guess put it on the fireplace or something, so, this is the most morbid stuff. … When I was a little boy, all the Christians [said] you can’t get burned because then you won’t rise from the grave with Jesus. And then I said, ‘Honey, you know, what about that?’ She goes, ‘It’s from ashes to ashes to dust to dust.'”
“Well, she said scatter some, leave some on the fireplace, of course when I go to heaven, she wants me in the box with her,” he adds.
Duane “Dog” Chapman and Beth Chapman
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Duane says he wanted to keep Beth’s ashes close to him, but realized it wasn’t healthy.
“So, I wanted to put them in the car and seatbelt them in,” he says. “And I want to take them with me. But that’s like, morbid, you know? You gotta really watch it. These are the times when people go over the edge. And you really gotta watch how you do ’cause my life, I went through experiences to help others — I really mean this.”
But he also explains why he can’t bring himself to scatter her ashes and shares a few of the heartbreaking habits he still has when it comes to Beth.
“You know, I was going to do all the scattering, and then I looked at it and thought, ‘I’m not gonna throw you, like, away. I’m just gonna throw you away and start over?’ I can’t do that,” he says about why he hasn’t fulfilled her wish. “I haven’t gotten past the place where I’m still putting a pillow where she was, and covering it up, like the jailhouse escape, right? I mean it. And then I wake up in the middle of the night and I see her and it doesn’t register that ain’t her. I’m still there.”
Duane now leaves her ashes by his bed, so that he can see her every morning.
“I leave it next to the bed right there and I think that might be where it’s going to be forever,” he muses.
As for his upcoming Dog the Bounty Hunter spinoff, Dog’s Most Wanted, set to air on WGN America, Duane says he is unsure how much of Beth will be shown — but the footage he has seen of her makes him emotional.
“So, I mean, I’ve already looked at some of them, OK, and I see her and I hear her and I freaking start bawling ’cause it happened,” he shares. “I just instantly start crying … so, I think it’s also therapeutic that you have those. You know, if you lose a loved one then you have the little pictures you look at. But I have her alive in that show.”