I, like millions around the world sat numb yesterday at the news of your passing. I, however quickly did go through the seven stages of grief from denial to finally acceptance and some time throughout the day I may repeat them all. My ego is crafty, you know. During the night it even made up that it was all some stunt that I would be mad at you later about. My ego wants the world perfect (familar).
You were always in my world. In the seventh grade it was every Black girl's question to bear, who we would marry, you or Prince. No on laughed at Sharee who wore pink lipstick after gym class with MIKE stamped in black ink on her bottom lip. And that Tuesday evening when Bro. Harris carried us in the St. Mark Baptist bus to choir practice and we saw Bill coming out of V.I.P. record store with "worldly" music, we knew he was busted! But when he pulled "Off the Wall" out of his bag Bro. Harris' only admonisment to him was that he had "better be on time for church come Sunday." We understood. You were the exception to most things and always in my world, Michael.
You were always ours. We lent you to the world, but you were ours. We were always connected to you, even when it seemed we didn't understand you. As the cycle goes with families, we were angry with you sometimes. You were our little brother, you were our big brother. Bless your mother's heart, your father's heart. The hearts of your siblings. We moved in with all of you. Loved you and judged you. We felt that we could. Because we loved you like that. In the name of "family" and "protecting you" we crossed the lines. Because we loved you like that.
We know that you felt lonely. Still you reached out to us in the way that you could. From the stage. From the studio. Through the videos. We felt you reaching to us. Thank you, brother. Our magic brother. Our brother who sang and danced like no other before.
You broke through barriers for you and for us. Barriers we may never know the full story behind. Thank you, dear brother. Dance brother. Dance and sind and be in peace.