Musician Jimmy Buffett and wife, Jane Slagsvol. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Just over a week after “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett passed away from a rare form of skin cancer, his wife Jane Slagsvol stepped into the spotlight to comment publicly on her husband’s challenges in recent years for the first time.

In a message posted to the singer’s website, Slagsvol began with a line from her late husband.

“’Growing old is not for sissies.’ These last few years have been unimaginably challenging for Jimmy and me, and we’re definitely not sissies,” Slagsvol said. “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.”

Slagsvol said everywhere the couple went, they were “surrounded by love” and “the best, most honorable, most generous people.”

“Jimmy was love. Every cell in his body was filled with joy,” Slagsvol added. “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.”

Slagsvol also thanked her friends, family, and “the world of people” who showed them incredible kindness.

“Thank you for creating the world’s most joyful community,” she said.

Buffett, who was 76, “passed away peacefully on the night of September 1st surrounded by his family, friends, music, and dogs,” his website stated.

An obituary posted to the same website said Buffett had been fighting Merkel cell skin cancer for four years, and had been continuing to perform during treatment. It progressed into lymphoma, sources told TMZ, and Buffett had reportedly been receiving hospice care.