Tragedy struck in 2006 when Richard died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism at age 45. Besides his millions of fans and best-sellers, he also left behind Kris, his wife of 21 years, and his daughters Jasmine and Kenna.
During their 25-year relationship, Richard wrote hundreds of love letters to Kris. One which particularly had special meaning to her was the one he wrote for their 18th anniversary. "It was just incredible," Kris says. "It was everything that he would say in his last hour of life. Everything that he would say about life and everything he would say to me." She turned that epic letter into an inspirational book called An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love.
"If I had an hour to live, I'll tell you who I wouldn't call," Richard wrote. "I wouldn't call my financial planner, my banker or my CPA. I wouldn't be checking my voice mail, my e-mail or my Palm Pilot. ... No, if I had an hour to live and I could make one phone call, it would be to my life partner, Kris."
"In this experience of losing Richard so suddenly and grieving his loss, it has just given me so much strength and comfort to feel so complete in our relationship," Kris says. "Just to know that he felt so complete when he left. Just to know that he walked out the door that day, he had said it all—he had appreciated us so fully."