Although it’s hard to believe it’s been six years, it’s soothing, heartbreaking and life affirming all at once to see how the love for Michael Jackson is as present as it was on the day we lost him. As Michael once said, “My fans truly are a part of me. We share something that most people will never experience.” After his death, we continue to share our passion and love for Michael with each other.
Every year on the anniversary of his death I make my way to Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, and walk slowly amidst a sea of love of homemade cards, stuffed animals, sunflowers, roses and books from all over the globe. I see these offerings as proof. Proof there is love in every corner of the world from Japan to Korea, Italy to Germany to Poland as the fans pay their respects to the man, the man in the mirror who simply wanted to spread messages of love and tolerance, of forgiveness and kindness and of healing the world. When Michael sang, “Another Part of Me”, he was light years ahead in terms of consciousness. With his raised consciousness he acted with fearless integrity and understood the essence of this era: Recognize the other person is you.
I am under no illusion about how people judge Michael Jackson fans. And I am perfectly okay with that. I am part of a worldwide team that is fighting against injustice. Because I know who Michael Jackson was, not what the media tried to force feed down our throats. We are not willing to give up our fight against wrong. As Michael held up a mirror to himself, we hold up a mirror to the world, showing that spreading love, not hatred, is the answer.
I grew up loving Michael Jackson’s music but there was so much more to him than that. It was Michael’s heart I deeply resonated with. I could feel how caring, other-centered and kind he was. And, in a sense, the worldwide grieving helped and continues to help me to feel that we are all one. That even though the loss feels as if it will never have closure, we are never, ever alone.
One Rose for Michael Jackson raised 15, 537 roses this year. Seeing all the roses donated from fans around the world moves me to tears as I am enveloped in the sea of love of thousands of roses. And it keeps growing. The first year Robyn Starkland’s team raised 3, 000 roses, then 4, 500 then 10, 000, and now more than 15, 000. Every year, all the roses are donated to various charities.
At Forest Lawn, I met Andrea Schneider and Lola Anderson from Dusseldorf and Eltville, Germany, who returned to the cemetery last year on June 26 to help donate some of the roses to charity and will be doing the same this year.
I also met Nako and Fumiyo from Japan. I loved watching them kneel on the grass in front of Holly Terrace, as they removed all the carefully chosen items from bags they brought with them and arranged it all.
The quilt that the fans in Japan make annually brings me to my knees. The fans meet on weekends throughout the year creating tiny, hand stitched, individually created, pieces, all in the name of love, to blanket Michael with love.
In Michael’s book, Dancing the Dream, he wrote, “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.” Michael understood that everything in our universe has its own vibratory frequency, and when we raise our own vibration, that brings us closer to experiencing and merging with the highest vibration of all – G-d – the original creativity of the universe. As I continue to walk around the sea of love, I can feel the vibration of what Michael Jackson was telling us for decades: Love and be kind to each other. And that, in part, is why he will not be dethroned.
Hannah has been a passionate professional photographer for four decades. A graduate of Cal State University she also holds a Master (MA) in Psychology from the university of Santa Monica. She spent many years taking still images of stunts for the movie industry in Hollywood, which also took her to many parts of the globe. Today Hannah has her own photography/writing blog called hannahkozak.wordpress.com. She feels driven these days to creates psychological and autobiographical photographs, seeking to express the inner emotions of her subjects, as well as her own.