Friday, June 26, 2009
photo source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com
In case you are the only person who hasn't heard, Michael Jackson died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon. I was close to the epi-center at that point, near UCLA Medical Center where Jackson's body lay and a large crowd was collecting. I was in line at an ATM when I overheard the lady behind me telling her friend what happened. Like everyone else, I was shocked.
Since then, Jackson's death has been reported on almost continuously around the world. Vigils have been planned in every kind of setting imaginable, and the internet has crashed several times trying to keep with the news.
But looking at all this caused in me a great level of sadness. Jackson spent his entire life trying desperately to be accepted, even loved by the people around him. After the molestation charges took away his peace (I don't know the truth, so I can't comment) and the fan base he so desperately held close started to back away, he began to deteriorate in every way. Yesterday, he died alone in a cold hospital room in great financial debt. Until 2pm yesterday, if you had asked anyone what they thought of Michael Jackson, they would say "child molester," "wierdo," "freak", and maybe "musician." But today, the sentiment is so much more forgiving, even loving...
I wonder that if he had known while he was still alive that he was this greatly and genuinely loved and appreciated, how differently he might have lived his life; how much more music and creativity he would have given to the world; and maybe how differently he would have died.
His death was a reminder about the fickleness of fame; but more importantly, the importance of telling the ones we love and appreciate everyday how much they mean to us because it can make all the difference. That death has a strange way of only bringing the most important things to light, and an air of forgiveness. Today, as Jackson is mourned, he is most remembered for the joy he represented and brought to our lives.
Rest in peace, finally, MJ!