Inner Michael » But Why is This Loss so Personal?

But Why is This Loss so Personal?

“Every life has a measure of sorrow, and sometimes this is what awakens us.” -Steven Tyler, Aerosmith.

The question often asked is: “Why does this feel so personal?” The frequency of that question numbers in the hundreds and someday the stories will be anonymously shared. For thousands, yes, this journey has been exquisitely raw and personal.

For so many, it has made them intrepid travelers thrust forward on a journey into the realm of spirituality, the fulcrum of which was Michael’s passing. Many have said: “I didn’t know I wasn’t awake.”

“Sorrow makes us children again, destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest knows nothing.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Maybe that was part of Michael’s plan and why he had to leave too soon. He often said that children had the answer and were the answer to the problems of the world. Bitterly ridiculed because of his affection for Peter Pan and the story of a boy who didn’t want to grow up, maybe he was actually onto something that we will only learn the significance of later:

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”–Matt. 18:3

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”–Mark 10:15

Michael said of children that he recognized and valued their innocence and “being with them connects us to the deeper wisdom of life.” Perhaps he was speaking of the spontaneity of children. I think Disneyland is testament to how much of the child still lives in all of us and Las Vegas is an example of a Disneyland for adults—an adult playground where we can, with license, act very much like children.

Magical places both, they are unique in their own way. So are the mountains and the oceans and the forest. So are the Sphinx and the Pyramids on the Giza plateau. Those are all things that Michael loved and encouraged us to love.

Yet innocence lost is a rite of passage of childhood that, it seems, we all must traverse. Why is that?

I Corinthians:
11: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

What does it mean to “put away childish things?” And why is that a rite of passage? Is that necessarily a good thing? What does it mean to lose one’s innocence?

Innocence is a state of open- mouthed speechless wonder. It’s to be enamored with it all. It is to watch with chin propped in hand for hours, the trajectory of a bug immersed in its industry on a bright June morning with the warmth of sunshine on one’s back. It is to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon and feel small in comparison to whatever you imagine at that moment. It is to lie down on the rock that juts from the cliff and feel its coolness on your back and the warmth of the sun on your belly and acknowledging their birth in the same millennial fire. It is to look out the window of an aircraft at 30,000 feet and know that if you were in Nepal, this is how high is—the summit of Mount Everest. It is to see the moon glade shinning on the inky black waters of the bay as the stars begin their symphony and to catch a hint of that melody in your inner ears. It is to dance in the dark in the dimmest of lights, by yourself with abandon, the night your only dance partner. It is to climb a tree and make wishes and write immortal songs from dreams that magically appear in the branches. It is the track of the first single tear as it cascades down a cheek racing ahead of the others.

Innocence is Santa Clause and Brier Rabbit and the Muppets and Alice in Wonderland and National Velvet, and Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Lion King, and Peter Pan, and Star Wars and…

It is before you forget to imagine that you can be anything you want to be. Before you realize that buried treasure is fantasy, that wishing won’t mean it’s going to come true and that to get what you want, you must use strategy. You must be a mini-Machiavelli. There is something dishonest about the adult world that is not found in the world of the child and his childlike innocence. There is something free and spontaneous and beautiful about the human spirit in that virginal state.

And it seems after that threshold is crossed, there is nevermore an embodiment of it, not even rekindled and then re-lived in long past memory. Maybe it is so painful that we must forget it completely in order to survive its loss.

So along comes this once beloved, and once a child, and once a beloved child, who is now a “different” adult entertainer who seems able to hang onto his innocence and who keeps reminding us that there once was such a thing and that we might want to try to get it back. He embodies it; he demonstrates it; he sings of it. He gathers children round him and speaks of their innocence and their brilliance. He pokes into and stirs up the memory of an old wound. How did he dare? What did he want from us? Of what was he reminding us?

“As innocence fades away, more complicated things take its place. We think we need to outwit others and scheme to get what we want. We begin to spend a lot of energy protecting ourselves. Then life turns into a struggle. People have no choice but to be street-smart. How else can they survive?

When you get right down to it, survival means seeing things the way they really are and responding. It means being open. And that’s what innocence is. It’s simple and trusting like a child, not judgmental and committed to one narrow point of view. If you are locked into a pattern of thinking and responding, your creativity gets blocked. You miss the freshness and magic of the moment. Learn to be innocent again, and that freshness never fades.”

Children remember they are light. They remember they are love. They know themselves to be bright shadow, yes: that light, that love. And we shush them in a thousand ways because we can’t allow ourselves, even for a flicker of a moment, to revisit a place that remembering… takes our very breath and would bring us to our knees were we to let it live again.

“Where there is sorrow there is holy ground.” – Oscar Wilde

I wish we had listened better. Michael is no longer here to remind us. Today we are on holy ground. We cry today, I think, as much for our lost innocence, and his lost innocence, as we cry for Michael.

© Rev. B. Kaufmann 2010


Every minute of every day somewhere
in this world someone is
watching a Michael Jackson video,
listening to one of his songs
on an I-pod, blasting it in a car.

And whenever his music plays a grief
arises.Free floating grief searching for
a heart to nest in. Pain trapped in the
stomach, eyes, throat.

And we in our ignorance think this pain is
surely here to destroy us.

But it is not.

It is Michael at work, removing the
raggedy burned-out thing
we’ve been carrying around in our chest
all these years,
leaving in its place our real hearts.
Awakening us from our heartless trance.

(c) 2010 Gerri Stone


Friday marks a year since the passing of Michel Joseph Jackson. There are many events being planned worldwide in celebration of his memory. If you are missing Michael, connect in some way with the family of admirers who will publicly remember Michael on June 25.

I will be with Rev. Dr. Catherine Ross on her Internet Radio Program “A Place in Your Heart” at 3 PM Central Standard time on Friday June 25:
A Place in Your Heart Internet Radio

Immediately after the program there is a worldwide meditation at Major Love Prayer at 4PM Central Standard Time:
Major Love Prayer

Many have asked if I could make myself available later that evening for a healing meditation. If there is still a need and an interest in meeting yet again that evening, let me know. I might be able to schedule a conference call and post the dial in information here.

For those who prefer to be alone in their grief and who are interested in healing for Michael and for the rest of us, I have produced an introduction and a meditation that is available for download as an MP3.
For details: Introduction to Shadow (and) Inner Michael Heal Michael, Heal the World Meditation

Whatever you do Friday will be a ritual. Add the intention to do it for the world and for yourself as much as for Michael. Intention changes the world. “Michaeling.”


  1. Dalia said . . .

    Barbara, I want to thank you for taking your time to write about Michael. Inner Michael is for me a place of comfort in the midst of sadness, is to not feel alone in the saddest hours. Is to feel that someone agrees with you in this unexpected situation, but at the same time is a glimmer of hope in this world there are still people with values who want to continue the legacy of love and transmitting the message of Michael. I have no words to describe the grief that overwhelms me to come that day, and it doesn’t mean June 25 should be different, or that I may choose a particular day to pay tribute, but it is incredibly that 363 days ago my heart was as sad as it is today … I refuse to accept a loss of that magnitude, my heart does not resign. If I could take an only wish from the genie in the bottle, it would be to embrace Michael with all my strength and tell him in his ear: “Thank you for all. Love you with all my heart.”

    Posted June 23, 2010 at 1:36 am | Permalink
  2. lmt said . . .

    Thank you for saying that what I do this Friday will be a ritual. That simplifies the day for me and what I do in memory of Michael. And a new lesson to ponder will be that innocence you speak of. I don’t seem to be able to find it in myself anymore but you could see that wonder and joy in Michael’s face in the movie, This Is It so I know what it looks like. Just the same as the innocence in the face of the small child in my life. Very, very personal profound sorrow–holy ground. Thank you.

    Posted June 23, 2010 at 2:10 am | Permalink
  3. Simona said . . .

    Thank you so much Barbara, for giving me something more to reflect upon in these days of deep and, yes, very personal sorrow. I want to believe that this pain and this loss is meant for a good reason, I do believe it in fact. And I wish I will find a way to transform this pain into holy ground, to let it free the innocence and the lightness that I let go so much long ago. Michael is constantly in my heart and his presence is both soothing and painful, but most of the time now it fills me with a sense of Tenderness that I had not experienced in years, if not for my little lovely daughter. I am hoping that this feeling of tenderness, that this wish to comfort and to protect – which is aimed at Michael, because he still seems to need protection and comfort, although he’s in a far safer place now – I hope I will learn how to extend it to the people around me, and to myself. I am listening, and Michaeling.

    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  4. Nicole P-H said . . .

    Dear Barbara,
    I would LOVE if we could make a meditation together with you, on friday June 25. I truly believe many of us really need that… Also I want to say to Dalia, thank you for expressing my most deep feelings and wishes with your words. I wish too I could embrace tenderly Michael in my arms and tell him my eternal LOVE and GRATITUDE. Blessings, Nicole (France)

    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  5. Anne Mette Jepsen said . . .

    Dear Barbara Kaufmann! THANK YOU! As always, I feel comforted by your words. I’ve got your Introduction and Meditation downloads, and they are beautiful. I feel they are healing and helping me to heal… the thought of joining you and others in this meditation is wonderful. I’m SO grateful you have made this for us all. Friday I will join the MAJOR LOVE PRAYER as I do every month on the 25th. And I will do the meditation to your spoken words. It would be perfect if we all could do that simultaniously. Again, THANK YOU! LOVE and GRATITUDE:) Anne Mette, Denmark

    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Permalink
  6. Heidi said . . .

    Oh dear Barbara, yes PLEASE, could we join together in a conference call meditation to complete the day. Your light would be like salve to re-mend our hearts, for as much as we are all tying to heal and know this is all for a heavenly reason, Friday will be a day like no other. You are such a blessing and have given us so much. We are so grateful for all you have done. Thank you Barbara.

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 2:08 am | Permalink
  7. Jeanne said . . .

    I feel like a child right now tugging on mama’s skirt screaming, “dont go, dont go.” Michael has been there for me and with me. This is my safe place, the one person who I know has a sweetness and pure heart. I will be looking up at the moon and saying out loud, “Michael , what new moves are you practicing now?” Sometimes I can see that smile and that spin. I know that June 25, is tomorrow and I will be with others for the first time physically since Michael passed. And my internet new friends are in my heart too . Michael is permanetly in this heart of mine.

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 5:36 am | Permalink
  8. Anne UK said . . .

    Dear Rev Barbara,
    I knew without a shadow of a doubt that when I logged on here today you would have words that comforted my heart. My very sad heart that still cries for the injustice of it all. My very sad heart that weeps on its own for scandalous writings that some people living in very dark shadow have felt the need to write in this, the week leading to the anniversary. Is it no wonder that I feel in some cases, all the shadow work in the world will not alter some peoples vitriolic minds. Hatred rears its ugly head. All this makes me realise that our legacy is not going to be an easy task, a fact that I now know Michael knew as well. My teacher worked well and I’m absolutely positive that he decided that you would be the one to guide us through this very personal grief.

    I was originally going to spend Friday alone in quiet reflection but has since been asked to look after my Great Grandson. He’s four and dances to all Michael’s music. As soon as he hears Micheal, he will tell me “Its Michael” so we are going to dance, sing and play all day. This I know Michael would love to do. Then in the evening I shall sit in my “Angel Garden” that I have planted in Michaels memory. The solar lights will have lit, I shall light candles, think of all he has given me and the world and send up prayers and all my love to Michael in Heaven and at the correct time I shall join in the Major Love Prayer. I hope all the love winging its way to Heaven at that time will wrap around Michael and hold him in our embrace. Michael we love you more. Thank you so much Rev Barbara for all you have done for all of us to get us through these last few months. I feel that I myself have changed so much during this time and there is still so much for the soldiers of love to do. With much love to all, Anne xx

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  9. Susan T said . . .

    Cherished! What brief but brilliant light you cast. Your music and rhythm and aura will last. A million eons with love gently flowing To every listening, caring heart knowing That one day we all who cherished your presence Will look up and smile and again feel your essence And know it’s our time To be with you again! Susan Trout “I’ll never let you part for you’re always in my heart.”

    Posted June 24, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
  10. Kim said . . .

    Rev. Barbara, thank you for the lovely article. I’m not going to say much as I’m out of town, but I want to thank you for all that you do on behalf of Michael and us. Tomorrow will be a very tough day for all of us. I will be doing your meditation that I downloaded. Thank for that as well. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Michael, his children, his family and all of his fans. Sending a MAJOR L.O.V.E. to you and everyone. Namaste!

    Posted June 25, 2010 at 1:32 am | Permalink
  11. Suvie said . . .

    On your 1st death anniversary, I found a lovely peom/song Michael…its like you wrote it for all of us and especially the last paragraph’s pierced like an arrow. Michael this really is a land of the Blind but you have opened some eyes. Thank you.

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king
    The masses buy the lie, and swallow everything.
    But if ever entered such a man with eyes of a pair,
    would he rule the land as new found king?
    Or would he be…

    Hit by a thousand stones,
    backed by two thousand angry fists,
    Hit by flying, blind arrows.

    In the mind of a child, the line’s thin between right and wrong.
    But give it time, I’m sure things will change before long
    But if ever child grows up strong, with a mind of his own,
    will he sing out loud the blind man’s song?
    or will he be…

    Hit by a thousand stones,
    backed by two thousand angry fists,
    Hit by flying, blind arrows.

    For Your sake, I’ll endure this.
    Now I lay these broken arrows at Your feet,
    take them from me, see the blind man on his knees.
    In the land of the blind, I can’t seem to find my place.
    For so long I’ve closed my eyes,
    and hoped no one feels the tears on my face.

    But if ever I arrive one day, with throat dry as sand,
    will you greet me with a warm embrace?
    or will I be…

    Hit by a thousand stones,
    backed by two thousand angry fists,

    @ Copyright
    Land Of The Blind
    [from album Struggle, by Six Feet Deep]

    Posted June 25, 2010 at 4:53 am | Permalink
  12. Marijo said . . .

    Thank you for your testimony and article. I had the grace to be on blogradio 🙂 and we spoke. Yes the legacy is strong and as Michael was a magical shaman and healer. The heart said cry let go and know that it will ebb and flow. I am a fan who must to something phyical, so like you I danced for Michael. I lit a candle and meditated and as the tears flowed I but felt ok. I read Dancing the Dream and called a friend who is also a fan of Michael so tears clease as they are physical manifestations of our broken hearts… heart heals. Thank you for your light, and yes intent changes everything. Love always, Marijo from Canada.

    Posted June 27, 2010 at 4:57 am | Permalink

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