There is no way I can string together a sentence that can fittingly express just how much Michael Jackson meant to me or how deeply devastated I am by his death.
The word “epic” is unworthy of describing his life, his career and his iconic level of fame. Not only was he the most significant artist in music history during his life, but the news of his death today nearly shut down the entire internet. The way the story unfolded in the news marks a major change in journalism and social media that will surely have implications for years to come. The biggest comfort to me, and surely many other fans, has been the overwhelmingly positive nature of the coverage and comments. Aside from the few who feel the need to make jokes or spread malicious garbage, most everything I have read, listened to and seen today regarding his passing has expressed sadness and appreciation for the light he brought to the world.
To me, Michael Jackson was much more than a singer, a dancer, and a celebrity. To me, he represented The Dream, the hope and optimism that can keep us going in our darkest hours. Whenever I felt like I was wallowing in the lowest points of my life, I had The Dream to lift me up and make me believe things would get better. The Dream is that magical part of childhood, the wild imagination, which makes us believe anything is possible, that the future will be brighter than the present. Today, I feel like my childhood is officially over because The Dream is gone.
In time, I am sure that I will be able to once again feel that optimism and inspiration that Michael Jackson represented in my life. Today, however, I am left with sorrow and disbelief.