Jimmy Buffett’s Wife Jane Has an Emotional Message For Fans After His Death [Photo]
"As Jimmie said a few months ago, 'Growing old is not for sissies.' These last few years have been unimaginably challenging for Jimmie and me, and we're definitely not sissies," Slagsvol wrote at the top of her letter, before diving into a list of thank-yous to those who lifted their family up during Buffett's illness and decline.
"Everywhere we went, at arenas, events, and even in hospitals, we were surrounded by love. There is a whole world of people I want to thank for the incredible kindness you showed us," Slagsvol continued.
She offered thanks to Buffett's team of medical professionals, who "gave him hope, even at the most hopeless moments." Throughout every stage of his illness -- from diagnosis to hospice care -- Slagsvol says that the family's medical team was "honest, brave and empathetic."
The singer's wife also had high praise for the team and staff members who worked with Buffett and his family over the years, especially during his illness. "You made our lives better in thousands of ways, big and small, each day," she said, adding, "I hope you know how much we care about you and always value the work you do."
From there, she thanked her community of friends, recalling how much Buffett enjoyed their companionship over dinner parties. "He loved occupying his place at the head of the table, looking at the people he cherished. You created a microclimate of affection that surrounded us like the sun," Slagsvol wrote.
But one of Slagsvol's most important "thank-yous" was for Buffett's fans, whom she says were responsible for creating the community of care-free musical joy that the singer personified.
"The smile that Jimmy beamed at you from the stage was sparked by your spirit," she says. "I think that's why he loved performing so much. He was so grateful to the community you built around him. Your sympathy and support inspire and comfort me and my family."
Finally, Slagsvol had a heartfelt message for the people closest to her heart: Her family, including the three children that she and Buffett share and his sister LuLu, who also wrote a tribute after the singer's death.
"I cannot begin to express what you mean to me and Jimmy. I cherish you, I love you, and I am unfathomably grateful to you every day," she wrote. "You are my heart."
As she concluded her message, Buffett's wife remembered him as a force for positivity and kindness. "Jimmy was love. Every cell in his body was filled with joy. He smiled all the time, even when he was deeply ill. And his sense of humor never wavered," she said, going on to highlight a late-career song that exemplified that spirit.
"One of the last songs Jimmy recorded was 'Bubbles Up.' He sings, 'Just know that you are loved / There is light up above / And the joy is always enough / Bubbles up.' Jimmy knew he was loved," Slagsvol concluded. "Right until the end, he looked for the light. Thank you for giving joy to him and to me."
"Bubbles Up" appears on the track list of Buffett's forthcoming posthumous album, Equal Strain on All Parts, which was completed shortly before his death. Paul McCartney -- who makes a guest appearance on the album -- has also spoken about the track, saying "the vocal was probably the best I've heard him sing ever." Equal String on All Parts will be out Nov. 3.
Buffett and Slagsvol were married for 46 years at the time of his death. According to a 2016 social media post from their daughter Savannah, their wedding anniversary is Aug. 27, meaning that they celebrated their 46th anniversary just a few days before Buffett's death.
Buffett died at age 76 after a four-year battle with Merkel cell carcinoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer.