In the days since Jimmy Buffet died, countless friends and fans have taken to social media to share their touching tributes to the “Margaritaville” singer.
But none is more touching than the message that his youngest daughter, Sarah “Delaney” Buffet, shared on Instagram on Sept. 6. (Buffet and his wife, Jane Slagsvol, shown below, shared a son and two daughters.)
The 31-year-old honored her father’s legacy in a moving letter that brought many readers to tears. In the letter, Delaney reflects on the joy her dad brought to millions, as well as the kindness and bravery he showed even when he was in immense pain from his cancer.
“Despite the pain, he smiled everyday,” she wrote. “He was kind when he had every excuse not to be.”
Although her dad was known for his love of a good time, Delaney says that his joyful spirit came naturally.
“Yes, he loved his weed and his wine, but the truth is, most of the time, he was just high on life, and that is what he wanted for everyone: to enjoy the fantastic trip that life can be,” she wrote.
So even though Buffet would often urge his family to “keep the party going” even after he was gone, Delaney knew that he didn’t mean drinking margaritas.
“He told us not to be sad or scared, but to keep the party going,” she wrote. “And as much as I’d like to use that as an excuse to drink myself into oblivion worthy of his literary heroes, I know it’s not what he meant.”
Instead, she says, her father was “the joy he sang about,” and that he intentionally sought to create a life of connection, peace and gratitude. His gratefulness continued even during his darkest hours. Delaney says that her father would often say how much he appreciated his doctors and nurses, and how much his fans and their letters and messages of support meant to him during his cancer battle.
She also shared advice from her mom that fans can follow as well.
“Over the past few days, people have thanked me for sharing my dad with them, but I know he would have wanted me to thank his fans for sharing their lives with him,” she wrote. “We are his family, but the stage was his home, and you, his band, and everyone on the road gave him the strength to keep going back. I’ll pass along something my mom said to me: ‘Whenever you feel sad or lost, look for the messages in his music. There are plenty.'”
Wise words for his fans around the world who will miss him dearly.
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