Michael Jackson was an entertainment phenomenon both triumphant and troubled, a dazzling performer who transcended barriers, transformed the music world and transfixed fans and non-fans alike in every corner of the Earth. But Tuesday’s memorial was not for that Michael Jackson. Instead, those closest to the legend gave us a glimpse of Michael Jackson the man.
In a poignant and serene service, the portrait they painted was of a human just as remarkable, making his loss doubly painful to bear for those who truly loved him.
“I just wanted to say … ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him — so much,” said Jackson’s 11-year-old daughter, Paris-Michael, before dissolving into tears and falling into the embrace of her aunt Janet.
It was a deeply emotional moment, the most profound part of a memorial that accomplished what Jackson could not in life: humanizing a man who for so long had seemed like a caricature.