Pop icon, Michael Jackson, died June 25th, more than a week ago. His body has since been subjected to two autopsies; understandable when the cause of death is in doubt. What isn't understandable, and what's never quite understandable to me anyway, is how a family justifies such a prolonged period of time between death and laying that loved one to rest.
Granted, Jackson is a pop star and an icon. More importantly in this situation, he was also a son, brother, father, and friend. He could (and should) be shown a respect in death he was never quite able to achieve in life: a quick, dignified burial. Sadly, as the time between death and burial grows, the more the freak factor grows. The funeral has been reported to be public, private, and both. Held at Neverland, Forest Lawn, and the Staples Center in Los Angeles (capacity 20,000). There have been reports of a glass casket, a glass hearse, both and neither. Meanwhile Jackson's body reportedly languishes in cold storage at Forest Lawn.
This Newsweek story, seemingly a little more credible than the rest, and told from the perspective of an unidentified source close to the Jackson family, reports Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, is worried that "...leaving Michael unburied for more than a week would cause his soul to wander, and she feels his soul wandered enough on Earth." Amen, sister. The piece also has this to say about the question of a public viewing: Jackson's body currently isn't in shape for a public viewing, the friend says, though many in the family still think the public should see him one last time. But his mother, Katherine, who seems to be calling all the shots, is very strongly against a public viewing, as is his sister Janet.
Unfortunately, what the article doesn't report on is the finalized arrangements which are still apparently, incredibly, up in the air.
It seems to me that Katherine's wishes as Michael's closest living relative (Jackson's father Joe is a complete jackass by all accounts including Michael Jackson's) should simply be adhered to. A private service and burial period, the end. We can only hope. I fear the more ghoulish option, however, may be in offing. It would be a freakish end to an even more freakish life and perhaps it is inevitable.
But what a huge missed opportunity.