Bernie Mac's Widow Opens Up About Comedian's Final Moments

"My whole life was him," Rhonda McCullough said of her husband of 30 years.

March 15, 2016, 3:24 PM

— -- The widow of comedian Bernard "Bernie Mac" McCullough is opening up about her late husband's death, and how she honors his legacy today.

Bernie Mac died in August 2008 at age 50 from complications from pneumonia.

In an interview for Oprah's "Where Are They Now" segment that aired on Saturday, Rhonda McCullough detailed her late husband's last moments, and revealed the heart-breaking plea she made to the comedian as he lay in his hospital bed.

"When they finally let me go into the room to see him, I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" McCullough said. "He was just shaking, and his eyes was just, like, wide open and he wasn't really looking at anybody."

"I remember telling him, I said, 'Please don't, don't die,'" she continued, breaking down in tears. "I said, 'I'm here. I'm waiting for you. I'll take care of you. Just don't, don't die. Don't die.'"

Bernie Mac died a few hours later, and McCullough, who had been married to her high school sweetheart since 1977, questioned how she would survive without her best friend by her side.

"My whole life was him, since I was 16," McCullough said through tears. "I didn't know what I was gonna do. It's like, what is my reasoning for being here now? What is my purpose? How am I going to make it now?"

McCullough noted that while she still grapples with Bernie Mac's death to this day, she has found solace and comfort in continuing her late husband's mission to bring awareness to sarcoidosis, a disease from which the comedian suffered.

Bernie Mac had developed The Bernie Mac Foundation before his death to raise awareness for awareness and research for sarcoidosis, and although she described it "difficult" at first to keep the foundation going, after a few years went by, she picked up right where her husband left off.

"What better way to have his legacy live on," McCullough asked. "The foundation means to me everything that Bernard was and that he wanted, so I just really can’t let it go now.”

Watch part of McCullough's "Where Are They Now" segment below:

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