By Jamie Bergen
Ten years. Has it really been that long since Michael Jackson left us? It doesn’t feel like it. The time has just flown by, like time is wont to do.
Every MJ fan remembers where they were and what they were doing when the news broke that Michael had been taken to hospital. My story isn’t particularly exciting. Being in Australia, it was pretty early in the morning. My mother woke me up and told me what was happening. I got up and jumped online to find out what the hell was going on. I refreshed websites and forums for hours… until Jermaine gave that infamous press conference.
Devastated doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt. In the following weeks, I grieved for Michael almost as much as I grieved for my grandmother when she passed away a few years prior. This may sound silly to other people, but other MJ fans understand. Because they all felt the same way.
This beautiful man, the man who gave me so much joy as a child, whose music got me through some really tough times, who I defended vehemently during his trials and tribulations, was gone. Never to return.
Elizabeth Taylor once said Michael wasn’t of this planet and she was right. He was too good for this world. We didn’t deserve him and we proved it by destroying him. The media’s treatment of him was, as Charles Thomson said, one of the most disgraceful episodes in history.
And now there are people who are trying to destroy him all over again.
But as upsetting as all of that is, we must focus on Michael’s legacy today. His artistry, his humanitarian efforts, who he was as a human being… Those are the things that matter. They are the only things that matter.
We may not have Michael anymore, but we have our memories. And I’ll always remember Michael as the sweet, kind and generous person he was, not the monster the media wants us to believe he was.
Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer of all time. That’s it. He was a cultural phenomenon and I feel honoured to have witnessed him firsthand. But more importantly, I feel grateful that I got to know who he really was through his music, his actions and his beautiful spirit. I’ll hold on to that for the rest of my life.
I love you more, Michael.