Michael Jackson Memorial

What a moving and fitting tribute to Michael. The celebration of life was full, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated how much he touched this world beyond the music. What I loved about this celebration was how much one could learn about him; that which gets overlooked by insatiable appetite to mock or vilify a person who rises above us all.

As a person who strives to see people reach their highest potential, to love life and those in it, he truly was a great humanitarian. I did not know that he had been bestowed the Guinness Book of World Records for his charitable donations. I knew that he broke through racial barriers, raised awareness about issues, especially AIDS, but through this celebration I learned so much more.

The depth of this man was great, it was so deep we rarely see it in most human beings. Most of us can’t reach that deep, to pull up from our being the answers to the questions about self and set it free. He knew what he was capable of, he knew what his gifts were, he knew how to tap into his greatness and share it well with others and not use it to prop up his own ego.

People like Michael Jackson deserve a day like today, though there will be many who question “why?” It is because we can not truly know him the way these people did that came together to pay tribute. They walk with this man, talk with this man, laughed with this man and still despite their closeness stood in awe of this man.

An artist, he was. An entertainer he was. His contribution can not be fully measured in that legacy alone, as magnificent as it is. I believe the legacy is in the efforts of one man to take what he knew intuitively and instinctively, a gift from the great spirit and translate that into language the world could understand. The language of love, the embodiment of hope and healing, compassion, respect and understanding. He translated the language from his heart to all those that would listen and they did.

One world celebrating a life, one world that was a better place because of his contribution.

4 Responses to Michael Jackson Memorial

  1. Amen to all that you celebrate about MJ’s life and contributions to the world. I also grew up in the same era and remember learning the Thriller dance routine with my cousin. I loved MJ for all the reasons you highlight until just after the Thriller album when he began altering his body. When people go to the extreme of non-medical-related surgeries to change themselves I can only speculate they must not like themselves on the inside as well and so then I began feeling pity for his troubled soul. But somewhere between the several allegations, and pretty damning evidence, of child molestation coupled with that unforgettable image of him dangling his own baby over a Paris balcony I lost my love for MJ. Appreciating his musical genius, which remains undeniable and undisputable, becomes difficult. While I’m glad to see so many of his fans come together in their grief of his loss to celebrate the good he gave us, I cannot help but acknowledge that with the good came extraordinary wrongdoing. Yes, the man had a disturbed soul..but I cannot forgive him for what I saw because I believe he harmed children. And all the charity and musical genius in the world cannot make up for those horrible errors in my mind. They create a shadow of pain and anger that looms over his memory and legacy. To disregard that the negativity existed and participate in the media celebration as though only the pre-Thriller Michael died is, I feel, a falsehood.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment. What you expressed is not unlike many who have watched the life of Michael as we have from our distance and media influence. I’m glad you enjoyed him too.

    My choice to acknowledge his contributions, as you know, was not only based on nostalgia but also to realize nothing is as it seems. We learned so much about an individual, who previously we gleaned info through the media. Cuts and takes, edited interviews and agendas were our glimpse into the life and mind of this person. If all of our lives were edited and screened the way his was, including all of our “questionable” decisions, well I would hate to see what the movie of my life would look like.

    There are multi-layers to all human beings, in the quietest moments what we say and think about self can be quite different than our outward appearances. I have done a lot of work around that with clients and it is amazing.

    There is no doubt that personally there were issues with his self esteem we can speculate body morphic disorder. However, all of that is not uncommon to the great artists of our time. Their sense of what is right or wrong in the world is different, they see and hear things differently.

    As for the molestation, I really appreciated your honesty on that topic. I hold a different opinion. My mother watched the memorial and like me had all along questioned the validity of such claims. She said “You know, with all those people he called him friend, all of them that spent so much of their life around him, loved him dearly, I don’t think those people you saw today would have stuck by him, if they had any thought at all that he was capable of molesting children.”

    I agree, the diversity of the people that showed their heart, love, respect for him from all walks of life may know more than us.

    Regardless, you and I as you put it, get to celebrate a life and contributions that influenced our world. That which became part of the landscape of our youthful years. Thank you again, Gillean…a great read, so thoughtful and interesting! Look forward to future comments.

  3. Michael Jackson’s life, as well as showcasing his immense talent also illustrated the flip side; the early damage, carried forward from his “lost” childhood, impacted and impeded his social interactions and life.

    It seems that he mainly felt comfortable & confident in costume and the warm lights of the stage.
    Young people and his adoring fans gave him the love that many adult relationships denied him.

    Sadly, he needed pills to sleep..Sleep and the chance to dream and refresh…A gift that so many of us take for granted.

    He now has the sleep, rest and refuge that he could not find in life.
    I wish Peace to him and all other tortured and talented souls.

  4. Yes, the burden of his life/childhood was a heavy one to carry. His passing so early no doubt a result of trying to deal with so much the body and spirit had difficulty carrying on. You are quite right that his actions in his personal life were “carried forward from his lost childhood. Thanks for that.

    The use of drugs by people to mask their feelings, help them sleep, enhance their abilities and cover their self hatred is rampant in our western society. Yet, the focus is always cast upon another, I find that funny as I inadvertently catch a story referring back to his drug use…so many throwing stones.

    Again, I wrote this to move away from the tragedy, the magnification of his sadness or madness as some may think. Instead, I approach this with the realization that this memorial was a good one, full of friends and family that felt so blessed by his friendship, humour and kindness that they felt compelled even in their grief to sing and speak about their loved one. Our public knowledge is tainted but their private experiences shared in the memorial was something I felt was very touching and enlightening. Sometimes it is nice to delve into those beautiful moments via the people who knew him best. Thank you so much, your comment, well put.

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