It is always interesting to see how people respond to death. The reaction is often so predictable, even though people that lose a loved one believe that the experience is so unique that nobody will understand them.

Of course the latest example is the passing of Michael Jackson. The first, very predictable response was denial. When the news broke, over sixteen million people did not believe what they had heard and turned to the internet to get the right facts and confirmation. The impact was so much that for nearly half an hour Google believed that they were under attack from a computer virus or spyware application.

This denial was also confirmed in the typical responses of “I cannot believe he is gone,” “I have tickets for his concert and he was preparing for that last week,” “He cannot be gone”, “when I dealt with him he was lucid, and he never took painkillers”, and so on.

Why would people rush to confirm the death of a very public figure that was loved as much as he was despised? This is typical of the fight or flight reaction that goes with a shock to the base chakra. If they could not deny that this icon had passed on, they at least wanted to have the correct information and defend themselves.

The next typical response is anger. There have been reports about the anger of the Jackson family over the medical treatment that the singer received from the doctor that attended him. The traditional role of any medical practitioner is to know everything there is to know about the human body, and to keep the body alive against all odds. The medical practitioner is very often the first target of anger, especially when the person died. Somebody has to be responsible for the death, and accepting that the dead person chose their time, date, place and means of departing is not even an option.

A typical response from the sacral chakra is to feel anger when a relationship is severed. In this electronic world, people often feel a personal relationship with celebrities, because the most intimate details of their lives are dished up to the public to share. At this point, the focus is on finding “the person or persons unknown” that caused the death. One of the singer’s fans is even quoted as slamming the “evil people” that drove Michael Jackson to his death.

I would not be surprised if the manufacturers of various painkillers get under the spotlight soon for their “personal” contribution to the death of a person who chose to use painkillers for his own reasons.

And then of course there is the bargaining stage. This is all about control. If an autopsy provides answers that are “too much to stomach” – because we are dealing with the solar plexus chakra - what do we do? Order another autopsy, of course, so that maybe we can get the answers we want.

And given Michael Jackson’s personal history, it should be interesting to do some research to compare the tributes his memory is being showered with, with the insults he was showered with at the low points of his professional and personal life. I wonder how many of the people that distanced themselves from him in the past are now keen to pay tribute to him? That would be a typical part of the bargaining that goes with an experience like this. “If I am nice about him now, will he return and do his concerts? Will my comments from the past go unnoticed if I now say something good about him?”

This is the stage where Michael Jackson becomes an even greater icon than he could possibly have been in the past – bargaining turns an ordinary person into a larger than life person, and it will probably turn an already larger than life person into a saint even quicker than the Catholic Church can to it.

What next? Of course there will be the depression stage. We can expect to hear a lot about the opportunities that the singer (and his fans) missed, about the people that never appreciated his great talent (which will grow by the day in the minds of his fans and critics during this phase), detailed profiles on his children and what they are missing, and so on. We can expect detailed profiles on how his brothers and sisters are being depressed with grief, because there are so many people in this world that live their lives as a reflection of the life of someone else. The depression that the world will show will be based on love and a wish to understand his life and his contribution. This will come from the heart chakra.

Will there be more? Will there be a burst (or a long-lasting trickle) of creativity where performers will do their own interpretations of his songs and dance moves, or where the inevitable monument for him will be a source of conflict and frustration to many, and of victory to others? Will people voice this creativity from the throat chakra?

Will there even be a deeper understanding of his role in destroying racial and sexual stereotypes? Will people lift this mourning process to a spiritual level? Was that what the broadcaster meant when he said that he was now mourning the fourth icon in his memory (after John Lennon, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana)? Just shows you how mourning can clutter your perceptions – or did I somehow miss Princess Diana’s singing career and her creative, artistic contribution to the world?

And meanwhile Michael Jackson, no longer in a body that requires painkillers, is probably looking at the people’s reaction in astonishment and awe – from the neverland that we all came from.

Author's Bio: 

Elsabe Smit provides life transition counselling and psychic readings. See