Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson: Thank You

When Michael Jackson passed away I was at work – The Journal Gazette newsroom. I had been scouring the web for about 45 minutes, doing my best to fact check a few articles before I sent them to the copy editors.

At some point I got up to use the rest room and on my way there I noticed the words “Breaking News” in the bottom left part of a small TV screen we have in the room. It was turned to CNN, where they consistently showed over-head shots of the hospital Michael was taken to. I proceeded to ask a couple of my co-workers what was going on, knowing full well what was happening. They told Michael Jackson had a heart attack.

My heart dropped. A huge lump in my throat formed immediately as I stood in the middle of an isle in front of the TV. No one else seemed as scared about this as I was. I no longer needed to use the restroom, but I went anyway just to look in the mirror to make sure my fear didn’t show. As I made my way back to my desk, a thousand thoughts ran through my head.

What if he dies? Wait, Michael Jackson can’t die, he’s the King of Pop! Is he even that old? How can he have a heart attack, he’s in shape and he’s always been thin right?

Once in my seat, I checked the web, only this time strictly for news on Michael.

Twenty minutes passed. I just sat and glanced at the TV, stood up, sat back down, got up again, paced a little and suddenly I heard the voice sad voice of a coworker say, “He just died. Michael Jackson died.”


I couldn’t believe it. I sat down in my chair, stared at my laptop, which showed a picture of Michael, and my eyes began to water. I quickly sucked it up. I couldn’t be caught tearing up at work. I mean, it’s not like I was related to him. But still, I was hurt by this news though it really hadn’t hit me yet.

Fastforward a few hours. I sat at home glued to the TV as nearly every channel payed tribute to the King of Pop. MTV played non-stop Michael Jackson videos and called Sway to action to break the news and host a special show where numerous celebrities called in and stopped by the studio to comment on this tragedy. BET played all Michael Jackson videos and the same went for VH1.

What I think was most amazing on that day was how Jackson may have saved his best performance for last. Twitter was put down for nearly an hour as so many people were tweeting R.I.P. messages for Michael the website couldn’t handle it. As a matter of fact, people in Iran trying to communicate through Twitter were unable to log on due to the flooding of messages having to do with Michael. The same thing happened to Google , TMZ, the LA Times and Wikipedia among many others.

I must say it was really nice to see the outpoor of emotion and graciousness everyone had towards Michaels death. Sure, he had his troubles but nothing was proven and he meant so much to so many people.

I’ve told many people already that he’s one of the people who define a lot of my childhood. The first music I ever loved was Michael’s. I can remember dancing so hard to every song of his. A childhood friend of mine and I used to walk around wearing one glove while singing to all of the songs and doing kicks and twirls all in the name of the King of Pop. I’ll never forget those times.

Michael Jackson’s music meant so much to me growing up. I remember learning the dance to “Thriller” and actually getting pretty good (I can still do the kick pretty well). I wanted to be Michael. He was larger than life. He was a hero to me, as he was to so many. I’ll never forget him, as his music will always live on and I will never be afraid to play some Michael Jackson at any moment. He’s truly the King of Pop and there will never be another like him.

Thank you, Michael, for being a part of my life.

No comments: