Just a Thriller

Caryn: So, this is weird. And sad. Since our fantab-u-oso fun time hosting the Mommy Revolution webinar Monday night, I’ve been meaning to start a post on realizing you’re not alone. Because, I think, one of the premier themes that came out of that night was that it’s just so great to feel like we’re not alone in our struggles or craziness or whatever. It’s what women were chatting about—and the feedback we got back afterward.

But alas, two things kept me from writing this earlier: 1. It’s summer vacation and I still haven’t figured out how to do anything with all three kids around me all the darned time (especially when it’s 95 degrees with 95% humidity and I’ve pretty much moved into our local pool).

And 2. (here’s the sad, weird part) Because every time I’d think, “it’s so good to know you aren’t alone,” I’d get Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” running through my head. Then, I’d picture the video—where he had that shortish haircut and slunk around with Lisa Marie Presley—and then I’d get to that sad place I always get to when I think about Michael Jackson and his life. And it was too hot to be sad this week.

So then, the other day, FINALLY, I had blocked out some time to work on this—and what do I discover as I sit down at my computer? He died! Michael Jackson is dead (of course, you know this by now). Argh. Sad. Sad. Sad…. Sad life. Sad death. The guy just makes me sad—and the sadness I feel for him comes straight out of the loneliness factor.

Any time I’ve ever read about him, that’s the resounding theme. He had a lonely childhood (okay, so I’m basing this one on the made-for-TV movie where he talks to that rat in the house in Gary)—not to mention an abusive one. He had a lonely superstardom (though it sounds like loneliness and superstardom go hand in hand more often than we’d think). I imagine his more recent years were just as lonely. (Do you think someone surrounded by love and care and concern for his welfare would allow him to subject himself to all that surgery?)

So anyway, I just thought as an homage to Michael Jackson—who, as weird as he was, happened to be an amazingly talented child and man, who kept me dancing and singing all through my childhood—I think we need to do a big Mommy Revolution push toward easing the loneliness of this life.

Even in our own feeling of being alone, we need to help another mom, dad, child, superstar, anybody feel less alone. How? You might take a queue from MJ: You can tell them, “I’ll be there…. Just look over your shoulder, honey!” Or, “You knock me off my feet now, babe…..” Or, “Mama say mama sa ma-ma moo sa…” Or whatever comes to mind.

It’s just that if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change….

Carla: Caryn, it’s times like this when I love you more that I can possibly say. Only you could connect MJ and loneliness so beautifully and in a way that makes perfect sense. You make it seem as easy as 1-2-3, simple as do-re-mi.

MJ’s life is an example (albeit an extreme example) of what loneliness does to us. It turns us in on ourselves until we are no longer the people we used to be. I mean, the man was ill in every way a person can be ill and I think most of it had to do with the lack of true connections to other people.

So while none of us will ever live a life like that of the King of Pop (and thank God for that), I think he can serve as a reminder that what is best and brightest in us quickly becomes broken and dimmed when we don’t have meaningful relationships. Loneliness is a serious problem for parents and yet when we are willing to be vulnerable, to be honest about our struggles and joys and doubts and questions and hopes, we can find the connections we long for.



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Shelley on June 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    So, many thoughts and possible comments are going through my mind right now that I’m not sure what to say. Perhaps I should start off by saying this piece has given me yet one more reason to like both of you!

    Caryn–I agree that it was weird that “You Are Not Alone” had become the soundtrack playing in your mind when thinking about the subject of loneliness. However, I don’t believe this was a coincidence. (I also don’t believe it was coincidence that a friend of mine posted a video of Michael on his Facebook page just hours before it was announced that the singer had gone into cardiac arrest.) Thanks for encouraging moms who may be feeling lonely to help someone else feel less alone. I know that doing this is mutually beneficial.

    Carla–Yes, it’s true that allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest can open up channels through which we can develop meaningful relationships. And, doing something as simple, but powerful, as praying for God to take away the loneliness that is being felt is also very helpful. I am a witness to this, as well.


  2. Posted by Lori Husted on June 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    The sadness that was Michael Jackson. So many hurt people in our world and as believers we need to reach out and share and love and grace others so that we can live the lives that God so wants for us. To be blessed and loved by God and to miss all that He has for us. It makes me sad and makes me want to reach out and help. It also makes me angry that we live in a world that admires all the wrong things, that even the most beautiful and talented of us think we aren’t. As mothers we need to use every opportunity to point out the errors in this thinking, especially as our children grow older and we can talk to them about the hypocrisy of the world’s beauty versus the real beauty of all of us in our individuality, the beauty God created each of us with. Well that’s just a few thoughts, I’ve never commented before but my daughter Erin Husted sent me this web site and thought I would enjoy it and I have. Keep up the smart dialogue.


  3. Posted by Carla on June 30, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Thanks Lori! I adore your daughter and she speaks so highly of you. I hope you’ll keep stopping by.


  4. Posted by Steve B. on July 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I think that if there’s anything to be learned from the tragic life of death of a Michael Jackson, it’s that we all need people who will both love us unconditionally AND hold us accountable. That is a very delicate balance. For every person who says “I love you and accept you no matter what happens” there needs to be at least one person who says “I don’t think you should have sleepovers with small children.” I truly understand MJ’s loneliness and feelings of alienation but I don’t think that even he knew how to ask for help. And if he did, who would have ever dared agree that he needed help? As followers of Christ, it is essential that we keep people in our lives who love us and also call us on our crap.


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