Jimmy Buffett’s wife, Jane, has issued a statement one week after his death.
Jimmy Buffet and Jane Slagsvol were married for 46 years until his death September 1. Their love story is one for the ages.
Jimmy and Jane first met in Key West, Florida, in 1971. Jimmy was living there at the time and Jane was visiting on spring break from the University of South Carolina. The day after their initial meeting at the Chart Room, a local bar, Jimmy saw Jane again, “wearing a tight, long pink dress that made a lasting impression on me.”
The couple moved in together shortly after and Jane chose not to return to school. Jimmy and Jane married in 1977, the same year “Margaritaville” became a hit. But, five years later the pair separated.
“I’d been with Jimmy since I was child, through the craziest times, and I didn’t have a clue who I was. So I left. I got sober,” Jane told TIME Magazine in 1998. They reunited in 1991 and the rest is history.
Jimmy Buffett died at the age of 76 of Merkel Cell Skin Cancer, leaving behind Jane and their three children.
A week after his death, Jane issued a statement. While the message included a brief tribute to her husband, most of the beautifully penned letter were notes of thanks.
“As Jimmy said a few months ago, ‘growing old is not for sissies.’ These last few years have been unimaginably challenging for Jimmy and me, and we’re definitely not sissies,” Jane wrote. “One thing we both knew and experienced, through every difficult moment, was the feeling of being buoyed up by all the people in our lives. Everywhere we went, at 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 showed us.”
Jane wrote personal messages of thanks to Jimmy’s fans, medical personnel who treated him in his final years, the family’s personal staff and employees, family and friends. she concluded with memories of her beloved husband.
“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. Jimmy was always the optimist, always twinkling, always making us laugh,” Jane wrote.
“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. Right until the end, he looked for the light. Thank you for giving joy to him and to me.”
On Friday, September 8, “Bubbles Up” was released in honor of Jimmy.
“Bubbles Up” is a track from an album Jimmy Buffett had been working on prior to his death. The album, titled Equal Strain On All Parts, is scheduled to be released November 3.
The term “Bubbles Up” was inspired by one of Jimmy’s favorite phrases, as explained by close friend Paul McCartney who called the song the best he had ever heard Buffett sing.
“…He turned a diving phrase that is used to train people underwater into a metaphor for life when you’re confused and don’t know where you are just follow the bubbles – they’ll take you up to the surface and straighten you out right away,” McCartney shared in a tribute posted to social media following his friend’s death. “So long, Jim. You are a very special man and friend and it was a great privilege to get to know you and love you. Bubbles up, my friend.”
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Hear Jimmy Buffett sing “Bubbles Up” in the video below.