Ben Selecman was just 28 years old when he died trying to help a woman onto a boat.
Alan Jackson has been loved by fans for his music, moreover, he was honored at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017. Despite being a star, he makes sure to be present for his family. His daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman lost her husband Ben Selecman in 2018, and her father has been by her side through it.
Ben, was just 28 years old when he died trying to help a woman onto a boat. He unfortunately fell and hit his head. He was immediately taken to a hospital but passed away due to "severe traumatic head injuries," as reported by The Tennessean. Selecman was working as an assistant at the Davidson Country District Attorney's Office in Nashville. Glenn Funk, Davidson Country District Attorney, said, "He was really a rising star and I'm sick that we lost him, but I'm grateful for every day that he worked for us because he was great."
For the last four years, Mattie has been dealing with her husband's death with her family's support. Jackson and Mattie also co-wrote a song called Racing the Dark. Jackson wrote about it on his website, "I’m really surprised how well she was able to handle all that. I know I couldn’t have done what she’s done,” Jackson says. “One day she came to me with this piece of paper and said, ‘I wrote this song…the lyrics,’ and asked me to put it to music. So, I wrote the melody for it, and it turned out to be a very sweet song.”
Mattie also wrote a book called Lemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak. In the book, she describes her struggle after her husband's death and how she recovered through faith. "There were so many times when I had no idea how to process anything," Mattie told PEOPLE. Mattie also spoke about how she wants the book to inspire people, "My greatest hope is that people just see my story for what it is. This book is just a vehicle to show that you can hurt honestly with God, but there is a way to not let that hurt overcome you because of the hope of who He is."
Her mother Denise, who is also a New York Times best-selling author, wrote a forward for her book. She spoke about how they supported their daughter and went through dealing with a loss of a family member. Mattie also started her own company called NaSHEville, which empowers women in Music City.
In an interview with TODAY, last year, Jackson opened up about his struggle with his health issues. He was diagnosed with CMT 10 years ago. He said that he has this "neuropathy and neurological disease and he had inherited it from his father. There's no cure for it, but it's been affecting me for years. And it's getting more and more obvious. And I know I'm stumbling around on stage. And now I'm having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable."
The condition basically damages the peripheral nervous system and causes balance problems but does not affect life expectancy. Jackson said, "It's not going to kill me. It's not deadly. But it's related (to) muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease."
Talking about the legacy he wants to leave behind, Jackson said, "I've always believed that music is the most important thing. The songs. And I guess that's what I'd like to (leave) if I had a legacy."
Cover Image Source | (L) Ethan Miller; (R) Terry Wyatt