mjphotoThis year has seen the untimely demise of many celebrities, but none touched my heart like the death of Michael Joseph Jackson aka “The King of Pop.” Any true MJ fan knows that he was so much more than the “King of Pop.” In fact, I never used that term for him and hated hearing it. Michael Jackson was gifted and he touched millions through his art and philanthropy. I was not in blogging mode at the time of his death, but now that I’m back, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something in honor of someone who brought joy to my life and so many others.

I felt hurt as if I had lost someone that I knew personally when I heard the news. I’m not saying I felt the same sense of deep grief that I felt when I lost my parents, or even close, but it definitely shook me to my core, as if he was someone with whom I had grown up. Then it struck me – he WAS someone with whom I had grown up! Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad– those were the soundtracks to my childhood. To this day I still remember watching Michael on Motown 25 (when it came on tv, not on YouTube,) moonwalking his way into history. I still remember thinking he was just TOO cute (swoon) in the Thriller pics. I mean, who didn’t have the poster of him in the yellow sweater vest? I had Michael Jackson books, posters, magazines, etc. I drew the line at the ‘Beat It’ and ‘Thriller’ jackets though. I can love someone without needing to dress like them.

Over the years, Michael went through changes and had his share of ups & downs, but who among us hasn’t? I was unwavering in my love and adoration for him. I grew to hate music awards shows, but if MJ was going to be on, I’d surely watch. So yes, the news of his passing hurt me. I hurt for his fans, for his family, and for myself. Friends told me I was taking it too hard, which sounded ridiculous to me. For the first time in my life, I am living in a world without Michael Jackson in it and it doesn’t feel right. No, I never met him and I’m sure I never would have. He never knew I existed, yet I feel different and like the world is different, without him in it. Of course, as with any death, I take comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain; no longer dealing with the demons that kept him up at night; the physical and mental torment he must have endured during his 50 years on earth. We may hurt, but he is finally at peace. He was special. He was magical. He was Michael Jackson. He was gifted and he shared his gift with the world. There will never be another like him. REST IN PEACE.

P.S. – Hated, hated, hated that Domino magazine folded (another great with an untimely demise) and my subscription was replaced with <gag> Architectural Digest. I mean, am I 80 years old? However, AD gets mad props for having MJ on the cover of the November 2009 issue and having a story on his home and interior design aesthetic.

Be who you want to be today.