April 26, 2013: This was the day when the whole world cried.
Certainly one of country music’s finest treasures, George Jones, had passed away. However, he wasn’t the only thing that fled the world on that day – he took with him a feeling of country tradition that you would be hard-pressed to find now.
Soon after he passed away, the country music industry gathered at the Grand Ole Opry to bid farewell to George. Messages were shared, hugs were offered and tears kept falling.
But almost nothing could compare to the tears that were shed when fellow country icon Alan Jackson went up on the stage to perform the revered song that everybody in the room had been waiting to hear.
Alan performed the song “He Stopped Loving Her Today” with such enthusiasm and respect that the audience stood speechless throughout his rendition. Alan gave an unbelievably emotional, unforgettable performance, the poignancy of which was only increased by the close proximity of George’s casket and the tear-streaked faces of his loved ones, who sat watching the performance nearby. Throughout those last few lines, when Alan removed his hat as a symbol of respect, everyone was left breathless.
It has been 3 years since, and there remain instances when country enthusiasts have to remind themselves that George is no longer with us. However, it’s these kinds of performances and remembrances that will continually remind us of the feeling we had on that particular day, and the feeling that we continue to keep in our hearts after all this time.