The recent deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett have made a big dent on the world. Farrah, known best for her tossing mane in the original Charlie’s Angels series and her (in)famous poster, was a weekly fixture on my 1970’s TV screen. Michael Jackson is within months of my own age so I was there for his rise – and spectacular falls. While these two entertainers only lived for me through my television, I can’t help but feel an odd twinge at their passing. The deaths of entertainers not of my generation are sad to me if I was old enough to have enjoyed the latter part of their years (Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, etc), but the deaths of those closer to my age, those I grew up with, are even more dismaying because they are more a part of my history. Then I start to understand how our parents feel when so many of their friends begin passing away. Soon it will be my turn to be in the twilight generation.
As it happens, death results in stories as we remember those who passed on. The news and social networking sites are overflowing with stories about the history and the personal moments of Farrah and Michael. The living rejoice in and reflect on the life stories of those no longer with them as a way to celebrate those lives.
While we are alive we can rejoice in and reflect on our own life stories. Don’t wait for the funeral when we can’t participate! We can tell our own stories, laugh at ourselves, teach lessons, inspire, give advice. Here’s an inspirational poem from Michael Jackson:
HOW I MAKE MUSIC
People ask me how I make music.
I tell them I just step into it.
It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow.
Every moment in the river has its song.
So I stay in the moment and listen.
What I hear is never the same.
A walk through the woods brings a light, crackling song:
Leaves rustle in the wind, birds chatter and squirrels scold, twigs crunch underfoot,
and the beat of my heart holds it all together.
When you join the flow, the music is inside and outside, and both are the same.
As long as I can listen to the moment, I’ll always have music.
© 1992 Michael Joseph Jackson – Dancing The Dream