The world is mourning the passing of a legend, but it will please many to learn that Etta James’s final moments were spent in the arms of her two sons, Donto and Sametto, according to

James’s oldest son, Donto, shared with People, “It’s been quite a day but I’m very grateful. She basically passed in my arms, and I was able to share everything I needed to say to her, from praying to listing her accomplishments as a mother.”

He continued, “I told her that I loved her. I said, ‘You were a wonderful mother, you did a wonderful job, your seven grandchildren love you, and they will be okay.'”

James, who was seriously ill for the last year and died of complications from her long-battle with leukemia, was unable to speak in her final hours but seemed to be aware of the love her sons were bestowing on her.

“I asked her if she heard what I said, and she’d flutter her eyes and look at me very quickly. And she had been nonreactive before that,” he says.

“it was a true gift to be with her when it happened. I wouldn’t want it any other way than for her to go in our arms.”


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