On Tuesday, the memorial for Michael Jackson was held at the celebrity and fan packed Staples Center. During the speeches, remembrances and the performances what did I spend most of my time doing?
Looking for Jackson’s kids. Prince, Paris and Blanket were front row center along with the rest of Jackson’s large clan. The children were situated right next to their grandparents, Michael Jackson’s mom Katherine and dad Joe.
During the ceremony Prince sat stoically, in what I’m sure was a totally surreal experience, chewing tensely on a mouthful of gum. Young Blanket wiggled around in his seat while clutching what looked like a Michael Jackson action figure, Paris sat closely to her grandmother, every now and then draping her arm around her grandma’s shoulder. Her emotions were obvious.
Most of the guests giving eulogies gave a shout out to the children. Most notably Rev. Al Sharpton who said to the kids. “There was nothing strange about your daddy, it was strange what your daddy had to deal with.” Paris’s was wide eyed and after the comment stood up to join in a standing ovation and moments later was joined by the rest of the family and Blanket and Prince.
One of the most touching speeches was by Brooke Sheilds quoting The Little Prince. Saying that Michael was not a king to her but more like a Little Prince reciting , “what moves me so deeply about this sleeping little prince is his loyalty to a flower – the image of a rose shining within him like the flame within a lamp, even when he’s asleep….And I realized he was even more fragile than I thought.”
The event ended with the memorial performers, Jackson’s family and the three kids singing along to We Are the World. After the crescendo of the performances, one of Michael’s brothers spoke while Paris fiddled with her purse and leaned against her aunt Janet for emotional support, while Prince and Blanket stood by looking distracted by the circumstances.
What made me cry? (and I am not easily moved to tears). At the end of the tribute, Michael’s daughter Paris took the mic and said “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you can ever imagine. And I wanted to say is …I love him so much.” As she wept, she was taken offstage by the family. The incredibly sad ending to a moving tribute. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)
What did you think of the event? Did you shed any tears?