Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson

I had just come home from lunch with the girls and was posting on my other daily blog when the old man switched the TV channel and the news was that Michael Jackson had been taken to the hospital. By the time I had finished that posting and checked the news, he had been confirmed dead. I'm not normally a celebrity buff, but when I read that it saddened me. Let me tell you why.
He was only four years and a few months older than my son. When my son was in grade school, he thought that Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five were the greatest. We were living in Portland, Oregon at the time, and when a Jackson Five concert was booked at the Coliseum. we bought tickets so my son could see them. You can just imagine two adults taking their child to a concert attended by mostly bubble gummers. I have to admit, they put on quite a show. That was back when Michael was not quite a teenager yet, so he had his own original nose and his own original face and he was not only cute, but you couldn't help but enjoy watching him perform. This post is for that child.
I don't know what was done to him as a child to turn him into a self mutilater (by cosmetic surgeons) but as I looked at pictures of him through the years, I always felt that he was trying to erase his own identity. Maybe by working his whole childhood in the public eye, he didn't get a chance to just be an ordinary child. Maybe he was forced to erase himself to find himself. Whatever the reason was that made him into a caricature of his former self, I always sensed a tremendous sadness in him. I hope he is at peace now.
We seem to feed off the personalities of those we deem celebrities, but we forget that they too were someone's child. As a mother myself, I feel only sadness for his mother, I can't even imagine that kind of loss. Mother's aren't supposed to have to bury their children. I'm glad to have the memory of watching him and his brothers performing in that concert many years ago. Most of all, I'm glad that my son isn't a celebrity, except to me. There is something to be cherished about being able to live an ordinary life. Celebrity gives no guarantee of happiness, it just guarantees that your death will bring up the ratings on the cable news shows. Too bad he had to die to do it. Rest in peace.

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