Have You Ever Mourned a Celebrity's Death?
Someone recently asked a question about mourning celebrities. Do we mourn after celebrities die? While there has been mention of Michael Jackson, I haven't found too many people who really mourned his death as I have, although I'm sure there are more out there. Now, when I say the word "mourn," I don't mean that I mourn Michael Jackson's death in the same way I would a friend or family member's. Of course, the loss of someone we actually know in person is deeper to us.
Still, I grew up with Michael Jackson, so to speak. He was such an icon--the King of Pop! I knew his music, and as I grew older I watched his career, and, yes, his ups and downs, I survived the scandals, wondered about his guilt or innocence, but was at the same time awed at his seeming naivety and trust and genuineness. I held on to that feeling through it all. Something in me never condemned him.
Jackson's Comeback Tour
Boy, I looked forward to Michael's comeback tour. I was curious to see if he still had it--the voice, the dance moves, the command of the stage. I wanted to see if he still made me want to get up and do the moonwalk with him when I saw him move across the stage. To this day, I can put on his music and get my unmotivated self to start cleaning house with some actual pep. Now and then, I'll stop to do a little dance move, with or without my broom, with the dog looking on with that quizzical head cock that he gives me sometimes.
Have you seen the movie that was made after he died? Watching the movie that showed his preparation for his great comeback tour made me so sad. He was a person just like you and me. You can watch that movie and see how hard he worked and how in love he was with his work. You can see how he treated his employees and dancers, and how they responded back to him. He treated them like equals, respected them, and they showed their appreciation back. He talked about his new tour leaving a positive effect on the world. I believe that he really wanted that. I'm glad I have that movie to go back to, to see Michael Jackson perform when I need a "fix," but how I wish he were still around to do the real thing.
A Troubled Life
Sure, Michael Jackson had his share of troubles, just as we all have, perhaps some of which he brought on himself. People made fun of him for his effeminate traits, even speculating that his children weren't really his biological children. Look at them! If they aren't his children, then they had plastic surgery to look like him--come on, people! And as for his own excessive plastic surgeries. I do wish he had never changed that nose beyond recognition, I'll tell you that. Look at him in the red jacket from Thriller, and he looked great. I had that poster from Teen Beat on my wall along with the Billie Jean pic. A handsome young man he was.
And the really bad rumors about Jackson? I won't confirm them. None of us know the truth about accusations made against him. I don't know if he ever molested any children. I'd like to think that he didn't, that in all his naivety he truly just wanted to give them some happy times and spend time with them at the Neverland Ranch. At times, Jackson seemed--and talked--like such a child himself. My heart believes that he was so simple that people couldn't understood that he simply liked children and enjoyed the same things that they did. I know there are the doubters, and I understand that. But I have to go with the gut feelings that have led me all these years. Perhaps I just choose to believe what I believe about Michael Jackson. Then so be it. I'm not going to speculate any more than I already have, and I'm not going to judge.
You Are Not Alone: The Softer Side of Michael
Thanks, Mom, for understanding....
My mom sent me the most understanding email after Michael Jackson's death. She said something to the effect that she knew that it hurt me, as I grew up with Jackson as an icon, much like she grew up in the same way with Elvis Presley. This was, to me, incredibly insightful, as I hadn't even mentioned to her the surprising sadness I was experiencing after his death. Thanks, Mom. She understood what the celebrity might have meant to my growing up, even though he hadn't been a part of hers.
So, with everything, I just can't help it. After all this time, I still mourn Michael Jackson. He was only 50 years old and had a lot more talent to share with the world. The child in me mourns him, and the adult in me misses him, too. So, yes, I will admit it. I mourn for Michael Jackson and wish so much that he were still here.
Rest in peace, Michael. (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)