“You never know when the last time will be the last time!”
That’s the first line of the Facebook post Jeni Buchanan wrote to let friends know her husband passed away – just moments after dancing with their daughter, Michele Howard, at her wedding in Costa Rica on Saturday.
Tim Buchanan, 54, a veteran detective with the York County Sheriff’s Department in Rock Hill, South Carolina, had a heart attack just minutes after his father-daughter dance and died.
“He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him,” Jeni, a wedding photographer, wrote. “I know he loved me and our family. Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honor of a beautiful grandchild.”
Jeni also posted a photo of the couple that was taken during their daughter’s wedding.
“I am so very grateful for this image of us that our dear friends snuck during our daughter’s wedding yesterday. Little did I know just a few hours later we would lose him.”
A friend and fellow wedding photographer created a GoFundMe page where people have far raised more than $10,000 in just two days for the grieving family.
“Jeni and Tm were so excited to head to Costa Rica a few days ago for their daughter’s wedding. If you know Jeni, you know how much Tim means to her and how wonderful the love is that they share,” Jenn Lewis, the creator of the GoFundMe page, wrote.
Sheriff Bruce Bryant tells PEOPLE, “All of our hearts are saddened about the loss of this great law enforcement officer. Tim dedicated almost 19 years to this profession as an outstanding Deputy, Forensics Investigator and most recently Detective in Computer Crimes. His talents will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this difficult time.”
The last line of Jeni’s Facebook post reads, “For now, just pray. He was always the one to make us feel better when things went wrong so we need all the prayers we can get.”