My mom was the one who called me last week with the news. I was working with a friend and totally unprepared for the message my mom had to deliver. “Did you hear who died?” “Yes,” I said, “Farrah Fawcett.” “No,” she said. “Did you hear who else?” “No, who?” I ran through possible celebrity deaths in my head. Or was it someone we knew? “Michael Jackson,” said mom.
Almost instantly I repeated those words: “Michael Jackson.” And my friend’s wife yelled out from the other room: “Michael Jackson died?” It was the kind of sentence you don’t expect to say and then when you do say it, or when you hear it, you liked it better when that sentence didn’t exist. Such was the case with those awful words, “Michael Jackson died.”