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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Death of an Icon: Michael Jackson

It's been a crazy week. I had this long to do list on Monday but then life happened. Earlier this week my neighbor committed suicide and that sort of tripped me out. Then Farrah died. Although that was expected, it was still so sad; I'd felt like I'd gotten to know her a little through her documentary chronicling her battle with cancer. Her death was expected, so it wasn't exactly shocking, just sad.

But then of course later in the day Michael Jackson died. Not so much expected. More than a little shocking. So, like millions of other people, I spent the rest of my free time this week reading articles and watching television specials, remembering times gone by. It's hard to believe that someone as iconic as Michael Jackson can be gone. His music and just his presence in the world have been a constant throughout my life. And now he's gone. Just like that. It's disturbing.

And just how did Michael Jackson get to be 50 years old? Seriously?!!! That's gotten me thinking about my own mortality. Time has a way of creeping up on you, my parents warned me, but I never listened. I was too busy working and raising my son to notice just how quickly time was passing. I'm 47 now. 47!!! How can this be? I still feel the same inside and I really don't think I look that different. OK, if I take an honest look in the mirror I maybe see a couple wrinkles here and there, a bit of gray hair. But I'm still the same person inside. Still think I'm cool. Still like the same types of music, wear the same clothes, watch all the new movies. (Still can't moonwalk.)

Today I'm feeling old and a little lost. People my age are dying. Dropping dead like flies. Is this going to happen to me? Will I go to bed one night and just not wake up? Do I even have enough time left to finish all I have started? Probably not. Nobody does. And that's a little disconcerting. We all have a limited amount of time on this planet. We don't know when ours will run out.

I read a quote today from Reinhold Neibuhr: "Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime." That was strangely comforting to me. Rather than fearing there's not enough time to complete what I've begun I will just continue to do. If I drop dead tomorrow, someone else will pick up the torch and carry it on a little farther. All I can hope is to make some small contribution to the world. And I will. Because we all do in one way or another. Most not on such a grand scale as Michael Jackson or Farrah Fawcett, but we all make an impact on the world, touch lives. We all make a difference.

Rest in peace, Michael and Farrah. Thanks for rocking our world and entertaining us. You will be missed.


Theresa Cahill said...

I'm with you... 50?!? I was actually shocked and compariing my longevity. If it makes you feel any better I once asked my grandmother (gone but made it to 94!) on her 86th birthday what it felt like. Her reply, "Like I'm 21 but my body is betraying me." And she said it with a smile :)

doctor chip said...

that was a very thoughtful and insightful post; not to mention the fact that I think you have captured here what is going through a lot of our minds. thanks.



agnes said...

just like the photo of michael that you have posted, waving good bye to the world & he's gone.

maggie said...

i love your post. made me think about my own life..

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