'We are Michael Jackson' (by Franziska)
During the days and weeks (meanwhile it are months) after Michael left this world I continued to ask myself why this loss hurt so much. Why did the death of a man I never spoke to personally touched me so much that it put my whole world upside down? Why was I unable to sleep for so many nights? Why was I in total denial for several months? Why do I still start crying when someone mentions his name or when something reminds me of him (even if it is only the full moon that makes me recall the Moonwalker)?
Yes, I love his music and it does mean very much to me. His way of expressing his innermost soul be it musically, with the help of lyrics or through dancing always touched me and made me feel at home, made me feel secure. For me, Michael was always there at the same distance. No matter where I was, how far away from family and friends, he was always there as he had always been. No matter how lonely or abandoned I might have felt Michael was always there. His music, his voice always offered me a safe haven. The mere knowledge that he was out there allowed me to feel close to him and gave me hope and strength to live in a world that for sure did not always feel like “Neverland”. In his humanness and gentleness he was a good example for me. His vulnerability and weakness allowed me to accept the truth and importance of my own fragility.
Over the years I met many people who felt equally and it was always a pleasure to share those emotions and those experiences with them. And even more: I could share his message of love and friendship with them more than it was possible with others, those who did not understand him the way I felt that I understood him. I was truly “not alone”.
And then there were those rare occasions when I had the honor to see him in person. Whether it was a concert or one of his other appearances, it was always (despite all the chaos) a magical experience. Being close to the man who influenced my life in such a lasting way made me feel as if I was taking a holiday from reality, as if for some hours or days that what was most important in my life also received my full attention. And yes, sometimes seeing Michael in the window of some hotel or on some stage or even just in a car made me feel stronger as if his mere presence approved my whole being. Close to him I felt good with being myself.
So how does it feel to live in a world without him? It feels as if the colors were taken away from this world, as if the only force that shielded me from the “cruel world” was taken from me. But what exactly have I lost? I lost a mentor. Someone who let me see the world as a good place to be in, someone who showed me what is possible with a little faith and trust. I lost a friend who showed me how much joy and happiness simple “being” can bring, how important it is to never stop dreaming. I lost a guide that was by my side for years, through good times and bad times. I feel like a tree that has lost a main branch and is now completely out of balance and deprived of an essential part. And now I am afraid that if I try to accept his death, if I try to live with it, that I would somehow betray his memory. Sometimes it seems as if the only way to remember and to love adequately is to suffer.
Mourning is like living in an upward spiral that starts at Michael’s passing away. I will come across this date or a memory of him again and again and yet every time this happens more time has passed, more experiences were made and I have grown a bit “wiser”. So how can I “sufficiently” store him in my heart and at the same time reduce the suffering? What do I do with the wound that is left from the branch? Maybe I will just try to do the same as the tree. Grow a new branch. No matter how tiny, how weak, how seemingly unimportant and insufficient this branch might be at the beginning, it is there for sure. I do not believe that we were made to suffer so there simply MUST be a little branch. Maybe I should allow myself to look at it. It is by no means there to replace Michael in any way but as time goes by there simply IS something that is growing from this wound. What could that be for me? Maybe I could try to lose my fear of this big, scary wo rld and try to see things more in the way he did. That is what he tried to teach us anyway. So why not simply take a risk and try it? Why not attempt to live, to be what I admired in him? Be more human, be more caring, more giving, less receiving, simply: more loving! Michael was always a great teacher and I truly believe that he would appreciate it if I, if we all, finally followed his path. We might not reach his mastery but that is not our goal anyway. The goal is simply to try it, to never stop trying, never stop dancing Michael’s dream. It is through us that he continues to live. Through our words, our deeds, our love. Now WE are truly the ones to make the world a better place. We have not lost Michael! He is there, maybe even closer to us than ever before. “Michael Jackson” is no longer a man; he is a concept, an idea. WE are Michael Jackson! There is no need to be sad; there is no need to despair! We have lost a messenger, not the message, a lover, n ot love! This world needs his message and we are the ones who will continue to live it. Because We Are The World! ♥ ~ Franziska N.
[The essay above was submitted to us by Franziska and is used here with her permission. It is also found in the wonderful book "It's All About L.O.V.E.", copyright 2010.]
Read more of this series: Things I Learned from Michael Jackson.