The headline this morning on the DC Metro paper “Express” said it all: “The King is Dead”.
When the texts came rolling in at first yesterday I wondered why people were playing such a horrible joke. It wasn’t until I turned the TV to CNN that I realized the truth. It’s so surreal that words escape me right now.
I like many others across the world are shocked and dare I say devastated. I have been feeling a range of emotions. To me, Michael Jackson was to music and popular culture what Leonardo Da Vinci was to art. It wasn’t until yesterday that I finally understood all the Elvis fans who even today celebrate his birthday, impersonate him, and visit Graceland.
I’m not going to say I’m Michael Jackson’s biggest fan or anything like that, but like many of my generation as well as the generation before and after me, Michael Jackson was a part of my life in some shape or form. As my mother recalls the first time I heard “Billy Jean” I was in pampers trying to imitate his moves. I remember the first time I saw the “Thriller” video, I remember how MJ videos were like movie premiers that everyone tuned to MTV to see. Who could forget Wesley Snipes in the “Bad” video, or Iman, Eddie Murphey, and Magic Johnson in the “Remember The Time” video? Remember the Pepsi commercials, everyone wearing the MJ jackets, hairstyle, and even some with the glove?
I remarked to many yesterday how this whole “thing” was like an election night gone wrong, kinda like when Gore lost, I just kept starring at the screen watching the same tickers over and over with some of the same commentary, just saying to myself and aloud how surreal the entire thing was. The irony of the entire thing was just the night before, I was talking about MJ as I got a very good likeness of him for my Sims 3 game, and when the first text came through I was in my iTunes catalogue cleaning out duplicates and had just listened to a MJ song and was then listening to Janet Jackson…
Michael will be remembered for many things, some bad, but many more good. He was a Historic figure as Rev. Al Sharpton put it yesterday, but more importantly he was human. He was a human with many flaws, sides, joys, and pains. More than anything, this death along with those of Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon (Semper Fidelis), and many others should be a constant reminder that our time here is short. Every breath we take is a blessing from Our Creator and we should not only be thankful of them, but mindful of them as well. With every breath is a choice and an opportunity.
As Jermaine Jackson summed it up yesterday “May Allah be with him”….
إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا أَخَذَ، وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِبْ
Inna-lillahi ma akhatha walahu ma’a’ta. Wakkullu shaiy’in indahu bi ajalim-musamma faltasbir waltahtasib
Due is to Allah that which He has taken away and His is whatever He has Given. With Him, every-thing has an appointed term; so have patience and seek reward from Him
[Sahih al-Bukhari 2:80, Muslim 2:636]
اَللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ وَارْحَمْهُ وَعَافِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنْهُ، وَأَكْرِمْ نُزُلَهُ، وَوَسِّعْ مَدْخَلَهُ، وَاغْسِلْهُ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ، وَنَقِّهِ مِنَ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا نَقَّيْتَ الثَّوْبَ اْلأَبْيَضَ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ، وَأَبْدِلْهُ دَارًا خَيْرًا مِنْ دَارِهِ، وَأَهْلاً خَيْرًا مِنْ أَهْلِهِ، وَزَوْجًا خَيْرًا مِنْ زَوْجِهِ، وَأَدْخِلْهُ الْجَنَّةَ، وَأَعِذْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ [وَعَذَابِ النَّارِ]
Allahhum maghfirlahu warhamhu wa’fu ‘anhu wa ‘afihee wa-akrim nuzuluhu wa was-si’ mudkhalahu, waghsilhu bil maee wath thalji wal bardi, wa naq-qihi minal ‘khataya Kama yunaq- qath thawbul abyadu minad danasi, wa abdilhu daran Khayram min darihi, wa ahlan Khayram min ahlihi wa zawjan khayrum min-zawjihi, wa adkhil hul jan-nata, waqihi fitnatal qabri wa ‘Azaban nar
O Allah! Forgive him and have Mercy on him and give him strength and pardon him. Be generous to him and cause his entrace to be wide and wash him with water and snow and hail.
Cleanse him of his transgressions as white cloth is cleansed of stains. Give him an abode better than his home, and a family better than his family and a wife better than his wife. Take him into Paradise and protect him from the punishment of the grave (and of the fire)
Some of my favorites….
“Michael Jackson will always be remembered as one of the greatest performers in the history of popular music. As a child of the 80’s, I feel as though his music and his videos have been an inseparable part of my life and that of an entire generation. And the powerful thing about great music is that it will always live on. He was and always will be an icon. My heart goes out to his family, friends and countless fans for their tragic loss.”- John Legend
”I don’t know what to say. I loved him. Not just his music but “him” his idealism and openness and humanitarian heart, his understanding of the human family as one, the high spiritual nature of him and to juxtapose THAT, with a great worldy impact and success,….. He was TRULY a special soul. As a person in the music industry, I’ve seen a glimpse of how rewarding but also how hurtful it can be , especially for sensitive souls. I actually think he was too special and fragile for the world he was in. My heart goes out to every member of his family.” With love- India Arie