Anna ‘Chickadee’ Cardwell’s husband recalls her final moment: ‘I was holding her hand’

Anna Cardwell Marriage
Credit: Anna Cardwell Instagram

Eldridge Toney shares the final moments he had with his wife, Anna Cardwell.

Toney tells People that in the final moments of Cardwell’s life, the entire family gathered around her to say their reluctant goodbyes. He explains, “Everyone was crying and freaking out, because we all knew what was happening,” adding, “I did my best to be calm for her. I rubbed my hands through her hair, held her hand, and told her it was going to be OK.” He concluded, saying, “I was holding her hand when she took her final breath.”

After Cardwell was diagnosed with stage 4 adrenal carcinoma in January, the couple wed in March and he shares that he vowed to his wife to keep her memory alive for her daughters — Kaitlyn Elizabeth, born in 2012, and Kylee Madison, born in 2015. He explains, “The day before she passed, we had our talk and said our goodbyes,” adding, “Her dying wish was for her girls to grow up knowing who their mother was. And I promised I would do right by the girls always. I will spend my life doing right by Anna and the girls.”

Anna’s mother and reality TV star, Mama June Shannon, confirmed her daughter’s passing via an Instagram post on Sunday. She captioned, “With the breaking heart, we are announcing that @annamarie35 is no longer with us. She passed away in my home last night peacefully at 11:12 PM,” Shannon, 44, wrote next to a family photograph. The family matriarch noted that Cardwell “passed away with her family around her” and thanked fans for their “continued prayers and thoughts.”

Cardwell’s family gathered together for her funeral on Wednesday at the Williams-White Columns Funeral Home in Gordon, Georgia. During the service, several of Cardwell’s close relatives and friends spoke about how she “hand spunk until the very last moment.”

People reported that Cardwell’s sister Lauryn “Pumpkin” Efird emphasized how the late mother loved her two daughters, Toney, and loved cooking chicken and dumplings with biscuits and spaghetti for everyone. She grew emotional as she questioned how their family moved on after her death.

Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson also paid her tribute on Instagram following her sister’s death. She captioned, “Anna was in so much pain last night but now as a family we all know she is at peace now. I really don’t know what to say as my heart is completely broken.”

She continued, “Watching my 29 year old sister this last year battle this horrible disease hasn’t been easy. Anna was a fighter & still is. Lord please wrap your arms around her 2 babies & our family as the next couple of days will make this all a reality 🥹,” adding, “I’m so glad that you waited til I was home to take your last breath! I would’ve loved for you to get to see me graduate college but I know you will forever cheer me on in heaven!” She wrote, “We will all make sure your legacy lives on forever,” she concluded, saying, “And I promise to always make sure to celebrate our birthday like you never left! The sky looks a little bit different today. We will always love you Anna 💔. You hit me hard with his one Anna but I know your in a better place now and pain free forever!”