Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gone Too Soon - Michael Jackson's Prophetic Song

I thought I knew most of the great songs for dealing with loss, but this one, "Gone Too Soon" written by Michael Jackson came out while I was in Medical School and didn't get much air play, so was one that I missed.

The song has been going through my head since I heard Usher sing it at the memorial services. The song is a beautiful message of sadness and sorrow over the loss of a friend, but more so as a prophetic message of Michael Jackson's own passing.
Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire,
To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night
"Gone Too Soon" is a song written by Michael Jackson as a Musical Memorial Tribute for his friend Ryan White, a young boy at the center of the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980's. Ryan was a hemophiliac who contracted the disease from blood transfusions, before the blood supply was screened.

You can watch a live performance of the song by Michael Jackson below from President Clinton's 1992 Inaugural Ball.

Knowing Life Might End Too Soon
Sometimes people have a sense of their own mortality. Working with younger hospice patients in particular, one gets a sense that they know they are dying.

According to Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson's wife, he may have had a sense, a knowing that he would die young, like her father (Elvis Presley) had. Soon after his death she posted on her MySpace Page, Michael had told her:
"I am afraid that I am going to end up like him (Elvis), the way he did."

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.
Their conversation would have occurred several years after "Gone Too Soon" was recorded and released.

Passing the Torch

This poignant, prophetic nature of this song also reminds me of a quote that seems to apply by George Bernard Shaw:
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Michael Jackson now joins the rankings of Princess Diana, John Lennon, John F. Kennedy Jr., Steve Irwin, John Denver and John Kennedy and so many others who shone brightly as possible but passed that torch on much too soon.

This blog post was the inspiration to create a tribute lens on Squidoo for all of those, famous and not so famous who have Gone Too Soon.

Image Source: NASA. Comets. Planetary Systems Library. Government Document.