While working out at the gym tonight I heard on TV Michael Jackson died. What a sad and devastating loss for the Jackson family and the world at large. Such a magnificent performer and person gone in the twinkling of an eye. It just didn't seem right.
Being a former fitness trainer beholding Michael Jackson dance around like lightning, I knew the man's heart had to be strong apart from emotional stress and possible prescription meds (which I speculate he was taking prior to his death). Then when I heard Michael's brother Jermaine Jackson speak to the media on behalf of the family Thursday evening concerning the loss of his brother Michael, I knew something was up.
Jermaine said, "It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home. However, the cause of death is unknown until the results of the autopsy are done." Having been trained in advanced interrogation the choice of words was cause for concern.
Then when I heard Michael had a doctor living with him, I thought that was a bit odd for a man his age. Yet Michael has always been a bit eccentric. However upon seeing an old interview replayed wherein Michael held a baby on his lap and nervously bounced his knee extremely fast the whole time, I could see this wonderful man whose performances touched and uplifted the world himself was very troubled and restless within.
The countless facial surgeries were an outward manifestation of the inner turmoil occurring within Michael. Sadly he who gave hope to so many and made people who saw themselves as nobodies believe in themselves, the same man Michael Jackson deeply yearned for unconditional love and affirmation himself. With such extraordinary wealth and influence it is no wonder Michael enjoyed being with animals and children, they who loved Michael for Michael (not what they could get from Michael).
People very close to Michael Jackson reacting with such surprise, it makes you wonder what really was going on.
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news," the music producer Quincy Jones said in a statement read by MSNBC. Mr. Jones said Mr. Jackson "had it all - talent, grace, professionalism and dedication." Mr. Jones added, "I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records who helped turn the Jackson 5 into pop stars, said on CNN.com that he felt sorry "for all of the fans around the world that are so much in love with Michael."
Mr. Gordy said that Mr. Jackson, as a boy, "always wanted to be the best, and he was willing to work as hard as it took to be that. And we could all see that he was a winner at that age. And I've always believed winners are winners long before they win. And picking them out before they win is very easy with a Michael Jackson."
I feel Cher said it best when talking to Larry King about Michael Jackson. "Michael was touched and had something special from God."
I could't agree more! Unfortunately I feel Michael wrestled with his manhood, identity, and as he so eloquently sang "the man in the mirror." Yet Michael beautifully looked beyond himself to marvel and amaze us all with his brilliance as a songwriter, his moves as a dancer, his wow factor as a performer, and his boldness to be true to himself no matter what the media or others said. Keeping his childlike heart and transcending his own personal grief from boyhood onward, Michael showed himself a man and a prince on the platform greatly praised throughout the world.
Michael broke the rock and color barrier, transcending rock and birthing pop. Liberating generations of performers that follow him to be free to express themselves authentically, Michael Jackson's accomplishments musically are legendary.
I only wish he could have lived longer to enjoy the fruit of his labor, see his grandchildren, and rejoice with his family. Michael shall always be loved, his songs cherished, and his presence missed.
Nevertheless let Michael's absence be a reminder to the media to be gracious to celebrities who are also human beings (often inwardly suffering in some personal way as the rest of us who struggle with various challenges of life). Let Michael's sudden death be a reminder to all performers to cultivate their personal life beyond their platform persona. Let Michael's untimely departure remind us all to cherish every moment of the life we have and to live our dreams fully, unapologetically, and wholeheartedly.
Michael you thrilled us with your life and your tragic death alike.
Godspeed my friend.
ps. To be promoted and make your home in heaven after life on earth, there is only one name by which humanity can be saved and taste the afterlife, that is Jesus Christ the life and the resurrection (Acts 1:10-11; 4:12; John 11:25).
Some call God Allah, as does Jermaine Jackson. Jesus however is the undisputed Prince of peace. I pray the love, comfort, and goodness of God will be with the Jackson family and friends throughout this difficult time.
Another "king" named Elvis seemingly died in a similar way as Michael. Elvis the son of a minister wrestled within his soul to find peace. Truly peace is not found in a preacher or religion, but in connecting with the Creator of the world and King of the universe. Within the quietness of your own heart, cry out to Jesus right now and invite the Spirit of Christ to comfort and fill you to overflowing.