In the wake of Aretha Franklin's transition, the music industry has been shaken to its core but no one feels the loss like those who loved her personally.
Franklin had been married twice during her lifetime. Once to Ted White Sr. from 1961-1969 and her last marriage to actor Glynn Turman from 1978-1984. Although she was notoriously private about her personal life she maintained a relationship with Willie Wilkerson whom she was engaged to marry twice.
Glynn Turman, her second husband, sat down yesterday afternoon, just hours after she passed to detail his last visit with The Queen of Soul just two days prior.
Turman said Aretha had been resting when he entered but her caregiver gently shook her and said "Aretha, Glynn is here". He says that she woke up, made eye contact and he could tell that she knew who he was, "it was a wonderful thing to see".
He details holding her hand and feeling her strong pulse. "Her breathing was such a defiance of what was attacking her."
In the past it had been speculated that Aretha Franklin had suffered from pancreatic cancer. With Turman making the statement that "Her breathing was such a defiance of what was attacking her" it eludes to the possibility of lung cancer.
Cancer is no stranger to the Franklin family. In 1988 her sister Carolyn died from breast cancer, a year later her brother Cecil died from lung cancer, her sister Erma died in 2002 from throat cancer. Legend tells of two other half-siblings but little is known about them other than their mothers were members of her father's congregation.
Aretha's father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, died in 1984. He was shot twice in his home in 1979 and never fully recovered from his injuries.
The family has decided that there will be a public tribute to the Queen of Soul but no church is big enough to hold the anticipated crowd. The public memorial will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. There is not word yet on the date. This museum was also the site for the public viewing of Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks in 2005 and Ms. Franklin is said to have loved visiting the museum.