Inner Michael » Is It OK To Be Angry About Michael’s Death?

Is It OK To Be Angry About Michael’s Death?

Yes. I am angry too. No, not angry; furious. I read the reports. As a nurse I am appalled at the conduct of the physician who supposedly was attending Michael Jackson and tending to his medical needs. While I don’t believe his death was caused deliberately, Dr. Murray did not meet even the most basic standards of care for the administration of an anesthetic medication. But there are more who are culpable than Murray. Was there a conspiracy to kill Michael Jackson? Yes. But it’s not what you think. That will be another article and only after I calm down. The doctor attending Michael had no business administering Diprovan at home in a non-medical setting. That is not an aspirin; it is big guns medicine. It is dangerous and is never administered without medication to counteract it. And never without the proper resuscitation devices and backup equipment. Giving it in the home just isn’t done. It wouldn’t occur to someone who really understands the drug, its effects and potential dangers.

Can the soul survive assault after assault? Assault to your appearance? Assault to your skin color? Assault to your personal life? Assault from tabloid stories made up to sell papers? Assault from people constantly stalking you? Assault from a media that slams you and never prints any redeeming information? Assault from a justice system that seems anything but just? Assaults from people wanting to make a buck off of their acquaintance with you? Assault from “friends” and employees who are offered obscene amounts of money to lie about you and expose your most private moments? And all this while never being able to venture out and live any kind of normal life.

The combination of drugs administered over the course of the night absolutely dictated that Michael be closely observed and monitored for any symptoms of toxicity. Drugs interact with other drugs potentiating the effects making each one stronger than if given alone. Michael should have been on monitors. And giving a potent drug like Diprovan after all those sedatives amounts to playing Russian Roulette with your patient’s life. And it’s particularly irresponsible when the patient was someone who had rehearsed for 8 hours that day and was most assuredly dehydrated. His electrolytes had to be out of normal range. Electrolytes are minerals in the blood. Potassium, which is the most significant, can stop the heart at abnormal blood levels. Murray should have factored in all those variables and he should have been right there monitoring breathing. This is an act of total negligence!

Dr. Murray was a cardiologist not an anesthesiologist. He was not qualified to administer the medication which is used for anesthetizing patients for surgery. In fact Dr. Murray apparently was not educated enough about Diprovan to even have it in his possession. How many times did he administer this anesthetic to Michael? Nightly? That is like putting someone “under” for surgery every night. The effects of anesthesia last a long time and can be cumulative. The reports indicate he bolused Michael which means he gave a dose all at once in a syringe instead of in a slow drip. Placing Michael in a coma nightly would have required placing a catheter in and the collection of urine because you can’t get up and urinate when you’re comatose. Imagine the indignity and vulnerability Michael endured just to get some sleep!

Do I think Michael may have begged for medication? Yes, I suppose he did. Was he in anguish because he couldn’t sleep? Of course. Michael’s insommnia became serious during the 2005 trail and he always had trouble coming down after concerts while on tour. He had great pressures and responsibilities that fell to him with the upcoming comback concerts in London. The stakes were high. Maybe too high.

I also hold accountable the previous physician or physicians who ever gave him Propofol for sleep at any time in the past! What kind of mind even entertains the idea of using anesthesia for an insomniac? That is where the problem began—in the mind that first came up with the idea. Dr. Murray was doing what had already been done before by others. Was he trained? No. Should he have known better? Yes. Is he culpable? Oh, yes. But others are just as guilty. Michael Jackson should have been evaluated in a clinical setting and treated for a sleep disorder and for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that a highly sensitive person who truly cared for children evidenced by his visiting children, hospitals and orphanages around the world, and donating half his total salary to children’s charities would be devastated and traumatized by a haunting past that resulting in losing his beloved home and life as he knew it. There would be no solace and no sleep anywhere to mitigate that kind of past trauma.

Imagine with me this scenario happening to you:

You felt you had to leave the country of your birth because you no longer could believe in it. You could no longer trust or believe in its system of justice. You lost the home that you loved. It became a place of invasion, darkness and ridicule. It was the one place on earth where you could go and find some peace. It was where sleep was once sweet. It was the place you built in order to give people joy. It was the place where you hosted children from the ghetto, children who were sick or dying, children who would otherwise never have magic in their lives.

Imagine that you were accused of unthinkable acts upon children. Imagine having that information reported worldwide and protesting those horrid accusations claiming your innocence from the beginning. Imagine knowing that celebrity has its privileges and one of those is to become a target. And often the target of a shakedown for money. The celebrity you worked so hard for, that you gave up your childhood for and anything resembling freedom to come and go in the world for, invites the sleazy who would exploit you for greed or dark entertainment. You have learned that the human mind is only too willing to bastardize someone they feel has become too elevated in their success. Imagine knowing that the biggest tabloid, The Enquirer, admits to their part in trying to destroy your life saying “We bring these people down; that is what we do.”

Imagine that in 1993 when the first accusations were made, three grand juries convened by the district attorney refused to indict you because evidence didn’t support charges. The boy who accused you refuses to testify against you and it is his father, the real accuser, files charges because you refused to bankroll his career change from dentist to screen writer. He says for that he will destroy you and that statement is documented on tape. You discover that since the D.A. didn’t have enough to file charges, he has traveled round the world looking for another victim to corroborate the accusation and couldn’t find even one. Not one in the whole world! Even though criminal charges are never filed, people still think you guilty because your insurance company, overruling your protest and veto, paid an out of court settlement because it would be less expensive than a full trial. Your insurance company paid for your “abandonment” of the child, not for violating him. But those important facts never make their way into the news.

You wonder why people are so willing to believe the worst of you. You wonder why nobody is speaking about your charitable works with and for children. You wonder: what you could possibly have done to deserve all this? All you ever wanted to do was make music.

Then imagine that the same D.A. collaborating with the same attorney and the same psychiatrist, files the same kind of charges again in 2003. Imagine one day while you are somewhere else in the world, 70 deputies descend on your sanctuary going into every private corner of your life, rifling through your things, photographing your private spaces. The photos expose your private space and private life to all the world. Nothing is sacred. Imagine watching a press conference televised internationally where this same gleeful district attorney announces to the world that he will file charges for those same unspeakable acts. Imagine that those accusations come from a family whose child dying of cancer, asked to meet you as his dying wish. This is the same child who became your personal charitable project: while you were touring the world, you called this child every night to tell him you simply would not allow his dying! You demanded that he hang on long enough to come to Neverland to visit and spend time with you—his idol. You hosted his whole family many times at your estate telling them to put whatever they need on your tab. Then you took them all around the world on multiple tours with you. You did all this to keep that child alive, to give him hope and reason to live. The love you showered on that child had nothing deviant about it. You wanted to keep him alive; you wanted him to heal. Imagine having to live with this nightmare being the way they repay you. Imagine your heartbreak.

So now this time around you resolve you will fight in court to prove your innocence, to redeem yourself in the eyes of the world. You hope to reclaim your reputation so carelessly sullied by those whose agenda was exploitation and extortion of celebrity.

Imagine that as your trial progresses and it begins to look like, once again, there is no substance to the charges. The media ignores those facts in favor of continuing the frenzied madness because it’s selling copy. How do you day after day listen to the vile accusations of being a deviant and harming an innocent child? When you have saved children all over the world by paying for their necessary surgeries, artificial limbs, transplants, funerals, and the building of new hospitals and orphanages? How?

Imagine trying to hang on to your sanity day after day and trying to find reason to hope for your salvation when there is none. Imagine knowing that the audience watching the trial is not seeing the truth because it is not being reported. Imagine wondering what world journalists who are supposed to be professionals are living in—fantasy or reality? Then imagine wondering which world the jury inhabits. Is it the same one? Will they see the truth? Will they see the real you? Will they see this case for what it was? Or will they be drunk on the Kool-Aid too?

And even if you are found innocent, what will happen to the pieces that were your life? You can never go back home because it has become a place that will forever be tainted by the intrusion that took place there. This magical place that brought joy to so many has been so sullied that it would be a constant reminder of your darkest memory of humanity. It will never again feel like a sanctuary. You can’t go back. And what of your country? Its systems? Its media? Its people? In fact, can you still believe in anything ever again? Lots of your songs were about changing the world and making it a better place. Do you still think it’s redeemable? Still worth it? That people are still worth it? Will you ever sing that anthem again? Maybe you can’t ever go home—to a house, a country or in your heart.

In the trial Michael was found innocent. Fourteen times he was found innocent. Apparently the jury saw no evidence and no case. After a grueling five months of living in a world that he never knew, never saw coming, never would have believed existed, he was found innocent. And afterwards, it was revealed that the tabloid offered the jurors lots of money to say they weren’t sure their verdict was correct. Imagine the monumental betrayal.

What one of us could withstand that kind of assault on our lives? People have trouble with an IRS audit; how would anyone survive that kind sustained darkness coming wave after wave? Who among us could stand up and face a daily barrage of it? How many could continue on? Or even show up for life? And in the aftermath could you stay? Would you? Would you go back? Ever?

After everything that Michael Jackson went through do you suppose sleep might have been a problem? People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have trouble sleeping. During the trial there would have been an accompanying fear of imprisonment. Sleeping well at night would be impossible; in fact sleeping at all would be rare. And the landscape of one’s life would be in shreds. Imagine the exhaustion. The trial was a life and death experience; had Michael gone to prison, he would not have survived. Do you suppose he knew that? Do you think he thought about it?

Do you suppose he suffered trauma? Had nightmares? Endured sleeplessness? Despair? Do you think the wound may have been so severe and so deep that it cut through flesh and bone and right down to the soul? Do you think the ordeal might have slashed his psyche, his mind, his reputation, his future, his faith in humanity and human nature? Maybe his very soul? When something quakes the soul like that, PTSD is a given. I suspect Michael had acute untreated PTSD. There are meds that ameliorate the anxiety of PTSD. They are cardiac meds and a cardiologist certainly should know about them. There are treatments for PTSD and they don’t involve life-threatening and dangerous medical practices! They don’t involve anesthetizing someone into coma night after night!

Of course Michael craved relief from his wounds and woundedness; wouldn’t you? Of course Michael was feeling tentative about his comeback. Would the world even want him back? Could he go back home again? And if medicine could take away some of that anxiety and pain, most of us would say “bring it on.” As tolerance is built to medication, more medication is needed to get the same level of relief. This is how addiction is born. No one sets out to become an addict. People do not think one day “I think my next goal in life will be to become addicted to prescription drugs.” Addiction occurs when the soul is wounded and the pain is beyond endurance.

Yes, I am angry about all of it: the way Michael was treated during the arrest, the trial, and watching as greed by a human or two or few, can negate a lifetime of humanitarian work. I’m angry that Michael’s life’s work was sullied, that the media fed like giant leaches on a celebrated genius who only wanted to make music and make his audiences happy. I am angry with the blood sucking sycophants who surrounded him including his doctors. I am angry with the perhaps dozens of doctors who medicated Michael’s body with drugs instead of getting him the help his soul needed. And don’t even start with me about someone who should have been a soul doctor ie. “spiritual advisor” who reveals intimate in-session conversations in a book. That is like a priest releasing transcripts of what you said in the confessional.

I would be angry about this scenario happening to anyone. I would be ashamed of us no matter who this happened to. I would be mortified that someone had to endure this kind of unkindness. I would be incensed by the mean freaks who dared to crawl out from under the rocks of their lackluster lives to tarnish someone who truly was a humanitarian. I would be livid that we all allowed this to happen, that we could allow it again. I am angry that what killed Lady Diana also killed Michael—the bizarre incessant insistence on a voyeur’s intrusion into someone else’s life because we can find no value in our own. I am angry and I am ashamed beyond redemption.

Is it OK to be angry? Of course it’s OK. Anger is part of the process of grief and loss. This anger is justifiable. It’s warranted. It may even be necessary in order to change the way we find ourselves being and who we are becoming for the future. It may help us abandon our feelings of victimization and step into a greater, more mature and and responsible self-reflective Self. Can you be a spiritual person and be angry? Oh, yes. Sri Ravi Shankar, treasured spiritual leader from India once said in Satsang: “Being spiritual does not mean being sweetie sweetie all the time.” This advice from the most serene man I’ve ever met. Being serene in the face of abomination is an abomination.

Be angry. Yell. Rend your garments. Scream across the lake. Write letters with reasonable arguments to those who should get them. Make sure they sound intelligent and reasonable so they are not dismissed. Petition for changes to the law. Look in the mirror of your own life and see where you are being that which you accuse others of. Write tomes where you rant and rail at the system or the injustices, then burn them a ritual fire. Burn someone in effigy in the same flames. Beat your mattress or pillow. Work out at the gym. That is all healthy. What do you do with your anger? Channel it into something constructive! Use that energy to forge the change you would like to see in the world.

But don’t give anger unlimited safe haven. Do not harbor it. Express it and get it out in a way that does not harm others. Do not internalize it in a way that harms self. Determine that you will work it out rather than leave the toxin inside you to seep into your cells, pshyche and soul. Do not take it out on those around you. Do not contribute to runaway conspiracy theories or gossip. Do not waste your energy fighting the ignorant. Go to where change can be made. Look into the facts. Do not destroy; teach. Do not dismiss; engage. Do not flail about; focus. Put your anger into sacred activism- that means doing something that serves humanity and advances its enlightenment. Do it in Michael’s name. Do it in his memory. Yes, please be angry. Be very angry. Then be the change.


  1. Anne said . . .

    Ive cried so much reading your posting.I feel you have gone straight to Michaels heart. Oh how I wish you could have met him, he would have found someone who understood him and the outcome of his life could have been so different.

    Posted February 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Linh Ngo said . . .

    Dear Barbara,

    Thank you for this article. As said in the previous comment from Anne, you have gone straight to Michael's heart. Your articles are always beautiful.

    When it's not a man's intention to kill another man, then it is God's work. God decides who live and who die. I believe it is time for Michael to return home, to prepare for a new mission. The world is much emptier without him.

    I do not blame Dr. Murray or anyone on his death. I know it is negligence and irresponsibility on his part, but I do not hate him or want him imprisoned. I simply feel the need to find justice for Michael by honouring him and carrying on his humanitarian works.

    Posted February 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Permalink
  3. ladypurr said . . .

    Thank you, Barbara.

    I'm sure your profound and heartfelt words are a source of comfort to so many who struggle with the reality of Michael's physical absence.

    Much of what you are revealing is profoundly true.

    I, too, wish he would have had you, or someone as spiritually evolved and truly committed to his healing and well-being, as you in his life. There is no doubt that he would still be here with us.

    Thank you, Barbara for being a "medium" for all of us who want to leave the pain and overwhelming sense of loss behind and come to the sweet spot of knowing that Michael's incredible love will always be with us in spirit.

    Posted February 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink
  4. isabeau said . . .

    This article is so important… People always need to find the 'responsable' for Michael's death and a lot of words of hate are poured into many forums and web sites, only your site invite to use mind and heart together our empathic side and, above all, our spiritual side so often asleep. Like others said, Michael needed a true wise spiritual friend like you and I'm sure some of us here reading. Thank you very much for all

    Posted February 16, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Permalink
  5. Anonymous said . . .

    Thank you again for another beautiful article!

    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:26 am | Permalink
  6. Raven said . . .

    Thank you for another beautiful article. I think it is important for people to understand what it was like to walk in Michael's shoes. Too many are too quick to judge just because of the drugs. His death began years ago. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

    Posted February 17, 2010 at 4:29 am | Permalink
  7. Anonymous said . . .

    Thank you Barbara for this beautiful article and showing how to put the anger to work. I have also thought of who first introduced Michael to this practice for sleep because you would not just know and think of something like this as a lay person. I only wish Michael had received the kind of help you described and that he needed. Sensitive soul as he was we know the accusations wounded his soul terribly. Thank you for the opportunity you allowed us during Shift the Shadow to pick up the pieces of Michael and return them to him so that he could be whole again. Love your understanding and your way of putting it on paper. Thank you again for Inner Michael, it has truly become my place for healing.

    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  8. Nordi Omordia said . . .

    I am glad i got to read this………………sums up how i feel about the media circus around Michael.
    Yes we must put our anger to constructive use otherwise it will all have been for nothing.
    The only way to make sure Michael lives on is carrying on his work.
    Thank you Barbara….God bless you!

    Posted February 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink
  9. Anonymous said . . .

    Hi Barbara, I love this article that you wrote about Michael Jackson. Your words actually convey what I have felt for eight long traumatic months.I have gone to other sites, but I have found too many fans infighting among each other. I am trying to move forward and heal. The negativity on some sites I just can't deal with. You captured Michael's life to the core.

    Posted February 26, 2010 at 6:47 am | Permalink
  10. susan said . . .

    I am so glad to have found this site. I can’t explain it to anyone how truly devastated I feel at the injustice and loss. I worry about how Michael’s family is coping. Something just feels missing now in the world and I don’t feel the same.

    Posted March 14, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink
  11. Maggie said . . .

    It’s comforting to read this with so much anger and hatred going on especially now for revenge. I wanted to come to a place where there is peace, where there is love. You write with Michael’s heart and soul. It’s too bad you weren’t there when he truly needed a friend in his time of need. God Bless you for what you write about him.

    Posted March 18, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

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