TODAY contributor Bobbie Thomas is speaking out for the first time following the death of her husband, Michael Marion, last week at age 42.
She released a statement to TODAY on Monday about his tragic loss.
From the day we first met, Michael and I enjoyed 12 wonderful years together. He brought so much compassion, patience, understanding and stability to my life, and taught me more about love than I could ever put to words. While I have always been more comfortable sharing my life with the public, Michael was more private. He was sensitive and silly, yet so stoic, and brave beyond my comprehension. I will be forever grateful for the time I had with him. He was so worth it. I only wish people could have been more intimately aware of how worth it he was and why I would do it all again and again without a second thought. He was a rare, devoted force of unconditional love in my life who made me feel so loved, so beautiful, and unequivocally supported.
You may not have known him, but he knew you — my TODAY Show family. Every well-wish you sent our way when we got married, he beamed at. Every positive message you offered during our IVF struggle, he took encouragement from. Every note of support that came his way during his recent medical struggles, gave him strength.
Michael worked hard to recover from his stroke and had made such progress that he was making plans to return to work. He landed in the hospital due to problems involving several organ systems, separate from his stroke of 18 months ago, and unrelated to Covid 19.
To anyone and everyone else struggling or suffering right now, please try to hold onto what you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t. One thing we all have is kindness. Absorb it, extend it, exhaust it. Because in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is love. I am so grateful for all of the love that the Today Show and all of the viewers have shown Michael and our family over the years. It has meant the world to us.
Thomas also shared a heartbreaking message on Instagram Sunday alongside photos of Marion and herself in the hospital.
“Nothing is normal,” she wrote in the caption. “Maybe nothing will ever be normal again. For me, it won’t. My husband is gone. With all the fear, anger, and division going on in the world right now, it’s so easy to get upset about the lack of normalcy. But I beg you, everyone reading this, hold onto what you do have right now instead of focusing on what you don’t.”
“There will never be enough time and some of our forevers are much too short," she added. "As I type through tears, I embrace gratitude ... holding our precious son Miles and memories, of the time I did have with Michael, closer to my broken heart.”
Thomas thanked followers for their love and support and urged those reading to “go hug the people you love.”
Marion's medical battles began when he had suffered an ischemic stroke at age 40 in April 2019. He came home from the hospital in a wheelchair but was eventually able to walk again with assistance.
"With great sadness, we mourn the loss of our beloved Michael, who passed away ... after a heroic struggle," an obituary for him said. "Beloved by his many friends, colleagues, and extended family, he had a smile that lit up every room he entered."
In May, Thomas gave an optimistic update on her husband a year after his stroke, explaining that she celebrates “every little victory.”
"It's hard to appreciate those small things if we look ahead," she said. "In a weird way, I would never want this to happen to anybody, but there has been so many gifts that have come along with having to reprioritize, and there's a bond we have that's unbreakable."