Jane Slagsvol, Jimmy BuffettHis wife shared a letter on Saturday (September 9) full of gratitude for those who surrounded the couple and showed support during Buffett’s illness and career. The “Margaritaville” singer/songwriter died at the age of 76 at his home in Sag Harbor on Long Island, New York, on September 1st of skin cancer.
“Jimmy was love,” she wrote in tribute to her late husband. “Every cell in his body was full of joy. He smiled all the time, even when he was seriously ill. And his sense of humor never wavered. Jimmy was always the optimist, always smiling and always making us laugh.”
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Slagsvol’s note was published on Buffett’s official websitealong with two personal photos of the couple, who married in 1977 and had three children together.
“As Jimmy said a few months ago, ‘Getting older is not for wimps.’ The last few years have been an unimaginable challenge for Jimmy and me, and we are definitely not wimps. There was one thing we both knew and experienced in every difficult moment: the feeling of being supported by all the people in our lives. Everywhere we went, in arenas, at events, and even in the hospitals, we were surrounded by love. There is a whole world of people I want to thank for the incredible kindness you have shown us,” she wrote.
“Since those early days and over the decades, Jimmy’s fans have become one big, boisterous family,” said Slagsvol. “Thank you for creating the happiest community in the world. The smile Jimmy beamed at you from the stage was sparked by your mind. I think that’s why he loved performing so much. He was so grateful for the community you built around him. Your compassion and support inspire and comfort me and my family.”
Known for his extremely enthusiastic fans known as “Parrotheads,” Buffett has had 13 Billboard Hot 100 charting singles, including seven Top 40 hits and one Top 10 hit, and 40 entries throughout his career on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
“To the teams of doctors, nurses, hospice workers and caregivers, your compassion was overwhelming in the best way possible,” Slagsvol wrote of the care Buffett received, who battled Merkel cell skin cancer for four years. “Jimmy listened to everything you said and followed your every instruction. You gave him hope, even in the most hopeless moments. Thank you for your persistence in finding the best solutions at every stage of his illness. You were honest, brave and sensitive; You have shown us so much dignity and kindness. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of professionals.”
She went on to thank the people who worked with Buffett: “We know that we have surrounded ourselves with the best, most honorable and generous people, and we know how lucky we have been over the years,” the letter said read – and the couple’s “gracious, generous and kind” friends. “Jimmy became happier telling stories over long dinners while the cicadas sang,” she recalled. “He loved to take his place at the head of the table and look at the people he cared about. You created a microclimate of affection that surrounded us like the sun. It gave us hope; It felt like a celebration even when things were dark.” Slagsvol also expressed her love for her family.
“One of the last songs Jimmy recorded was ‘Bubbles Up.’ He sings: “Just know that you are loved, there is light up there and joy is always enough.” Bubbles are forming.’ Jimmy knew he was loved. “To the end he looked for the light,” she wrote.
“Bubbles Up” is on Buffett’s posthumous album, Equal load on all partswhich will be released on November 3rd.
Read A Message from Jane in its entirety on Buffett’s website here.
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