Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"But I'm Only Human"

I turned on the TV this morning to find that pretty much every channel on network television was airing Michael Jackson's memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. I checked to see for how long it would be on and was shocked when my remote control's INFO button informed me that this circus would be playing from 8-2. So, I turned off the TV and got on with my life.

Ever since my father's passing in February, I have rapidly developed a new perspective on death and what it means. I won't bore you with those details here. I find it difficult to mourn the death of a man I never personally knew. Although I loved his music and I have some fond memories of albums I got for Christmas when I was a kid, I can't emotionally bring myself to grieve the loss of Michael Jackson, nor do I want to. It seems silly to devote 6 hours of my day to watching the memorial service of a man I never met. Pardon the insensitivity, but it may just stem from my own more personal loss earlier this year. Or it may be attributed to my new found beliefs on what happens to us after death and realizing that it may, in fact, be nothing to grieve about after all.

Either way, I would like to post my favorite Michael Jackson song that has stuck with me for years. I remember seeing "Free Willy" in the theater when I was just a boy and falling in love with "Will You Be There?" I remember looking on a map to find the River Jordan; I remember listening closely to the lyrics and relating to them on such a deep level as an adolescent; I remember getting chills with every key change; I remember just sitting on my bed with my eyes closed and humming along.

So, while I cannot find it within myself to develop any sort of personal connection to the death of Michael Jackson, it has brought about happy memories from my childhood. And I guess that really speaks to the power and influence of Michael Jackson - how amazing that one's death can spur happy memories within a stranger; not sadness. That's powerful; that's a life lived.

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