Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beautiful Boy

"The King of Pop is dead at 50." That was the text message that came through from my niece the night Michael Jackson died. My husband and I were on the airport road in Antigua, shuttling relatives from overseas who had flown in for my mother-in-law's funeral the next morning.



Michael Jackson died on a day when we were already grieving, so shocked as we were, we didn't really take it all the way in. But watching as his memorial service was broadcast today, I was reminded of when Michael was just a beautiful boy singing innocent songs that made us jump up and dance and sing happily along.



I was reminded of his astonishing performance at the Motown 25th anniversary concert, which I watched alone in a hotel room in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and found tears of my cheeks when he glided across the stage in that otherworldly moonwalk.


I was reminded that no matter his troubles, this lonely manchild, so tortured within, was somebody's son, brother, father, friend. I was reminded of his musical greatness and of the Michael we first knew who was so much easier to love. That Michael gave me a soundtrack for every new turn of my life. But his genius came at such a steep price. 

Rest in peace, brother Michael. Now you are free.

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