Many Prince fans are preparing for a day of mourning on the one-year anniversary of his death later this week.
His ex-wife, Mayte Garcia, is torn about how she’ll mark the day.
“I think I might just stay home with my daughter and my dogs,” Garcia told CNN. “Sheila E. is having a little get together, and I’m thinking about it. I don’t know how I’m going to feel.”
“It sucks,” Garcia added.
Garcia was thrust into the limelight when she married Prince on Valentine’s Day in 1996, when she was 22 and he was 37.
Since the superstar’s fatal overdose, Garcia has become a touchstone for many Prince fans, as one of the few people willing open up about the reclusive performer.
Garcia has written a memoir about their relationship titled “The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince.”
She says in her book that “I want to be clear. In all the years we were together, I never actually saw Prince doing drugs.”
Instead the singer told Garcia he had migraines or was sick, she said.
“Looking back, I can see it was something else,” she wrote. “I didn’t see it then. Maybe because I didn’t want to.”
During their four-year marriage, the couple endured the death of their newborn son Amiir, who was born with a rare genetic disorder. Two years later, they suffered a miscarriage.
Garcia said she knows there are some who question her decision to write such a deeply personal book about a man who was so private.
But Garcia always intended to share the story of her life and their love.
“For years, I’ve actually wanted to write it,” Garcia said. “I’ve always told people that when we were together, it was the time he was most open and wanting to engage with people and become quote-unquote ‘more approachable.’”
Garcia met Prince when she was a teen. She was a classically trained dancer initially hired to work with Prince.
She said she didn’t imagine that their relationship would grow personal.
“I never knew that I would fall in love and that we would get married and have a family,” she said. “But, now, I take it as a responsibility. I want to show a side of him that no one ever saw.”
Garcia knew Prince to be hysterically funny, sports-loving and competitive, in addition to being a musical genius.
She views comforting his many fans, who still grapple with the fact Prince is gone, as part of her life’s work.
Garcia said she wants people to know that because if his intense spiritual beliefs, Prince never feared death.
“He always used to tell people, ‘Death is only an elevation of the soul to go back to God,’” Garcia explained. “He believed in the afterlife and past lives, and that we will see each other again. He believed that so strongly, and I hold on to that.”
Garcia said she hopes her book will give readers a greater appreciation for Prince, and for the affection they shared.
“I’m hoping that it helps people, but also that it makes you love him more.” — (CNN)