Todd called with the news. Seth and I were at Barnes & Noble this evening, in the kid's section. I hung up then took Seth over to the stage area, and we sat on a little bench. No one else was around.
"Seth, I have something to tell you."
"Daddy just called and told me Michael Jackson died. It was on the news."
Seth's eyes welled up. He put his head on my shoulder and I held him quietly for a while.
When he looked up I said,
"So what does this mean? Where did he go?"
"To heaven," Seth said.
"That's right. Back to God. Back to the same energy he came from. There are some things you probably should know about Michael Jackson." Things I didn't want him to first hear on the news.
"He was actually very sad."
"Why was he sad?"
"Well, he was put in the spotlight at a really young age, and a lot of people expected so much from him. There was so much pressure on him all the time. He had so much talent. He was a genius, but he couldn't leave his house without being swarmed by people. All the pressure finally made him act really strange. He tried to change what he looked like a lot. Did you ever notice in the earlier pictures of him he looked like a little black boy, but in later pictures he looked very different?"
"No. I didn't notice that," Seth said, still teary. Seth was a YouTube fan of Michael Jackson and really only knew him from the Bad, Beat It, Billie Jean era.
"But the thing is Seth, he's back to God now, just like you said. He is okay. He isn't suffering anymore. He isn't sad now. And the cool thing is...is how you, a little six year old boy could recognize his genius, and love his music like you do. And his music is forever."
We went to the music section and bought Seth his first Michael Jackson CD.
It was raining when we got outside and thunder and lightening accompained us all the way home. Seth was sad at first, but then I cranked the volume on Beat It,
"C'mon Seth! We're celebrating Michael Jackson's life!" I sang my little heart out.
Seth got on board and rocked the air guitar.
When we pulled into the driveway, I stopped the car and asked, "Are you still sad?"
"A little," he shrugged.
"It's okay to be sad, buddy."
I gave him a hug and in we went to show Daddy and Riley his new CD.