Like millions of people around the world, I tuned in on Tuesday, 7th July, to watch the memorial service for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The service at the Staples Centre, LA was truly befitting to the King of Pop with performances from Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer, Usher, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Shaheen Jafargholi and several others.
I was especially inspired by the eulogies presented by various stars and personalities from Smoky Robinson to Martin Luther King III and Bernice King. Most of them gave an insight into the person; Michael. Brooke Shields got quite emotional and it was quite humorous when she said her first reaction when he started wearing the glove was “what’s up with that? If you’re going to hold my hand, it better be the non-sequined one because sequins hurt my hand.”
I love the poem written by Maya Angelou and read by Queen Latifah;
Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.
In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.
Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.
He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.
Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.
We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.
And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.
But we do know we had him, and we are the world.
Rev. Al Sharpton said “It’s not about the mess, it’s about the love message”. His words to the children were; “There was nothing strange about your daddy, what was strange was what he had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway”.
The most heart wrenching moment was when his daughter, Paris Jackson spoke, fighting back tears;
“Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him — so much.”
I believe this was his greatest achievement, being the “best father”, not surprising because he had so much love in his heart. My heart goes out to the children who have lost a father. Although it was a sad and most definitely a difficult moment for the family, I admire and applaud their effort to acknowledge that the public did want to grieve with them and pay their last respects. His life was an inspiration. He was an icon, a legend and in the words of Berry Gordy (founder of Motown records),” The Greatest Entertainer that ever lived”.
Be inspired to go and let your light shine
– Bernice King
Fame, fortune, they are all illusions…
– Michael Jackson