Travoltas Thank Ocala Community For Support In Wake Of Family Tragedy

John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston arrive at the Academy Awards in February 2008 John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston arrive at the Academy Awards in February 2008

The Travolta family has thanked the town of Ocala, Florida, for their support following the death of their son, Jett.

John Travolta, his wife Kelly Preston and their 8-year-old daughter, Ella, penned a letter to a local paper, The Ocala Star-Banner, sharing their gratitude for making “an impossibly painful situation, a little less painful.”

“The enormous amount of love, support and condolence we have received from this community has been most humbling,” the family’s letter began. “Comforting words, thoughts and prayers of Ocala’s citizens have made an impossibly painful situation, a little less painful.

“The actions of Ocala’s community leaders, its law enforcement professionals, our neighbors at Jumbolair and its surrounding communities have offered us the dignity to grieve the loss of our son and Ella’s brother in peace,” the letter continued. “For this we will always be grateful.”

Jett Travolta succumbed to a seizure disorder, just after New Year’s in the Bahamas. When the family returned stateside, and to their home in Ocala’s Jumbolair, they were greeted by an outpouring of support, including food deliveries and signs of condolences and love across the town. And, as evidenced by the Travoltas’ letter, the support did not go unnoticed.

“From the people who drove hours to drop off cards and flowers at our doorstep, to the service providers who made Jett’s ceremony so beautiful, thank you. Every person who we have encountered has offered to do anything in their power to help us, but add that they feel powerless to do so. We want all of you to know that you have already helped us,” the Travoltas’ letter continued. “By sharing our grief, you lessen our burden. For all of the people who have kept Jett in their prayers, know that those prayers have given us inspiration and strength.”

The Travoltas added that they felt that the acts of the Ocala community went beyond friendly.

“What we have experienced in Ocala transcends neighborly civility. We have been treated as family,” they wrote. “Although we lost a good part of the joy and radiance of our family, your embracing us as a member of your own has helped us to contend with our loss.”

Signed “John, Kelly and Ella,” the family ended their letter by encouraging others to appreciate those they love.

“In parting, we want all of you to cherish your loved ones and your friends like there was no tomorrow, to live your lives to the fullest by continuing to help one another, and to be true to yourselves,” the letter concluded.

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.