For better or worse, the death of Michael Jackson last week on June 25 has created an unprecedented global outpouring of mourning, tribute and celebration. 

Tomorrow is the funeral for the King of Pop.

The private service will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park for the family and special guests, before the public memorial.

Los Angeles city officials are preparing for massive crowds downtown during the public memorial.  Even though a wide area around Staples Center will be sealed off to those without tickets, City officials expect that 250,000 to 750,000 people will try to be in the area anyway.

17,500 tickets will be made available to fans to attend the service; 11,000 tickets will be issued to fans to be in the Staple’s Center and 6,500 seats will be available at the nearby Nokia Theater so that fans can watch a live simulcast.

Newspaper headlines all over the world read, “Fans Worldwide grieve for Michael Jackson”; “Millions of fans grieve Michael Jackson’s death.”

Online magazines write, “Grief-stricken Michael Jackson fans all over the globe are releasing their emotions through tears, vigils, and perhaps most appropriately, dancing.”

Four generations around the globe have vastly different memories of Michael Jackson, associations with Michael Jackson and reactions to his untimely death.

Whether you are an aging grandparent, a baby-boomer, or Gen X or Gen Y, you have at some time or another, been moved by Michael Jackson’s music or awed by his dancing, and his death is a loss event in your life.

So what is the loss, you ask?  We didn’t know him personally?

The loss is that at many different levels, tens of millions of people around the world hold very personal attachments to the man, his music, his plight, his meteoric success, or his innovation; and his death has affected us on some level.

Being affected by the death of this brilliant, astonishing and deeply disordered man is a normal, natural and necessary reaction.  It is simply how human beings are hard-wired.

We don’t have to know someone personally to be attached to them in some way; on some level, for one reason or another.

Michael Jackson’s death is a loss event no matter what else you might have thought about him.

The attachment and then the loss trigger the grief.

Grief is the reaction to a loss event.  Grieving is the normal, natural, and necessary process that restores us to wholeness.

Tens of millions of people around the world are grieving; and their reaction to this loss event—the death of Michael Jackson—is a normal and very natural reaction!

That is why, according to Nielsen SoundScan data, for the week ending June 28 (recognize that is only three days after his death) Michael Jackson solo recordings and Jackson Five songs sold an unprecedented 2.6 million downloads.

So if you notice feeling sad, or a little edgy, or perhaps lethargic, or just a bit off in some way tomorrow, remind yourself that you are very likely feeling the normal, natural and necessary feelings associated with a loss event; even if your left brain doesn’t recognize your association or attachment to Michael Jackson, specifically.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


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