When Michael Jackson passed away, the first thing that came to my mind was, I have to do something for his memory, something that would show my appreciation for the years that his life and art touched mine. It was a time of sorrow and disbelieve. Then there were the Memorials and the waiting , people started to form blogs and websites as if in a crusade to be part of his life and achievements. By the end of August the family announced the day and place of his Burial I learned that would be impossible to say Good-Bye, because of security measures that they felt were appropriate and then I thought I had to go to Los Angeles and no matter what I had to be part of his farewell. So, on August 29,2009 Michael’s Birthday, my son and I started our journey to say Good-Bye to Michael we drove from North Georgia to the Tennessee Valley and The Plains of Oklahoma all the way to New Mexico, Arizona and finally we arrived in California on September 1, 2009 at the Mojave Desert we had the windows down and Butterflies was playing it was very special not only was sunset but also the full moon was raising,It was like going thru the Valley of the Kings in Egypt the heat from the desert the songs it was magical. I had live in Los Angeles from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s there I had the pleasure to meet Michael in the summer of 1991 at the Burbank Studios at that time I had some friends that happened to be dancers it was a lucky day for them and for me. Michael was at the top of his career and to me a moment I will never forget I witness Smooth Criminal unfolding in front of me even tough I could never see the Concerts. He was about to go to Germany and I was just starting my life in the US, after the rehearsal I could speak with him briefly and he was very sweet and polite I notice how tall he was and he was just perfect I told him I was from Brazil and he said Oh! We have a project coming soon in your country I love nature and what a beautiful country that is. Then as I remembered he lower his eyes and gave me a hug and that was my moment with Michael Jackson. The project was the video that he and Spike Lee made in Salvador – Bahia and in Rio de Janeiro for the song “They Don’t Care about Us” In 1996.
On September 3, 2009 I went to Glendale preparing myself for a long day outside Forest Lawn Cemetery, the police had made very difficult the access to cars and people around only the press had permission to stay closer to the Gates of Forest Lawn. I stayed near by an Elementary School that is located right in front of the main Gate but not for long the Police noticed me there and in the late afternoon they made leave, so I went to the other side on Glendale Avenue and Los Feliz where some fans started to gather the Funeral was schedule to 7:00 PM Pacific Time, the heat was intense it was like 80 degrees Fahrenheit into the evening, the guests were arriving and the press was looking for the fans, they came to many of us asking “Where are the Fans”? That was something I thought was very sad how could that be Michael Jackson was about to be laid to rest and his fans weren’t there to say Good-Bye to him he loved his fans and we loved him. On that moment I knew that the few fans that stood not only to the police but in the heat were the ones who counted we would be there until the end no matter what. The guests were outside of The Great Mausoleum the service was outside , so all of us were suffering in the heat for Michael, then around 8:00 PM we saw the Funeral car bringing Michael’s body and everybody starting shouting Michael. Michael we love you!!! I cried , all of us cried and the Family arrived we knew that would be the last time we could be near him and that was a very strange feeling to me I stop taking pictures and I noticed the Full Moon was red and I knew that Michael loved the moon and the connection he had with the moon, then at 9:43 PM Michael Jackson was laid to rest inside of the Great Mausoleum three Stained –Glass Windows surrounded his beautiful marble tomb and by decades of Hollywood Glamour Stars it was the end of an era of my adolescence and those years flash back of me singing and dancing and Michael’s moon walk. It was time to say Good –Bye, I had to leave my heart was broken. Then 2 days later I went back to Forest Lawn and at this time life was back to normal over there I say life because cemeteries are alive is just a passing stage for all of us. I drove all the way to the Great Mausoleum and enter its gates to view Da Vinci’s Last Supper Window presentation , when the curtains open and you see the sun light from dawn to sunset and the curtains closed I cried remembering what Michael said when he announced This is it . He said “ This is the final Curtain Call”. Tears came down my cheeks I could hear me whipping and I was at peace and there was a warm feeling all around me and I knew Michael was there he was everywhere he was a pure soul and he already was in Paradise.
I brought the most beautiful Spring Yellow Flowers I could chose and I did not know if they could be delivered to Michael, so I left them in the car but after leaving the Mausoleum I took them and I was walking back a security man came to me and ask me To whom are the flowers for? I looked into his eyes and said You know to whom the flowers are for. He looked at me and said: Do you see that Lady standing there she works here for 31 years talk to her maybe she can help you. I approach her and she ask me the same question: To whom are the flowers for? And I said the same thing : You know to whom the flowers are for, then she said OK. I can place the flowers for you as my body shook and she add: Do you want to write your name? As she handed a piece of paper as I started to sweat then I wrote my name and then she said: Do you want to write a note so when the family comes they can read it. Then I knew Michael wanted to know who was there bringing him flowers and I wrote a note not only in my name but in the name of all fans I was there representing for our love and the last Good-Bye to Michael Jackson.
By Niura Schwartz