Thirteen Years Without Michael Jackson

As I made my way up the familiar road to Michael Jackson’s final resting place, I wondered what I would write about this year. Then, I saw Miyuki Amano, my friend from Japan. We both reached out to hug one another. It has been two years since she was able to travel to Los Angeles because of Covid. I met Miyuki at Forest Lawn Glendale on June 25, 2010. That was the first year that I started paying my respects to Michael and creating a blog to share with fans around the globe. My heart has been heavy lately and I hoped and knew that by heading to Forest Lawn, the magic there would help. Being around my MJ friends is healing.

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Entrance to Forest Lawn, Glendale

Miyuki’s handmade MJ dolls were in front of a sign from Japan as the glaring hot sun was beating down. I asked Miyuki if I could make a photo of her with her dolls in the shade. It’s my favorite place to make photos at Forest Lawn because of the green grass, trees and hills in the background and I love the subdued light next to the tree. “Yes, of course you may.” 

Miyuki Amano with her handmade MJ dolls

She gathered all her dolls in a bag that she put on her shoulder. After showing her the tree I liked, she started to set the dolls up in a way she liked. When I first met her, she wasn’t creating the dolls but rather was traveling from Tokyo with store bought MJ dolls. As she set up the dolls, I asked her how long it takes her to create them. “One month takes each doll with the body, clothes, shoes, everything.” Hardest to make is Remember The Time Doll.” She speaks such wonderful English. It would be so great to be able to speak Japanese the way Miyuki speaks English. “Do you check the dolls in your luggage” I asked, already knowing the answer. “No, I carry them in a backpack. I’m worried to put them in luggage.” she responded.

Miyuki Amano next to my favorite tree at Forest Lawn, Glendale

Every year since 2010 Miyuki travels to Forest Lawn to pay her respects. “I couldn’t come for two years. I’m so appreciative of my friends. I would send my card with friends.” A group of Michael fans in Japan would gather handmade cards for him and send them to Forest Lawn Glendale. 

Card from fans in Japan – I love these colors

Miyuki’s passion for Michael always moves me to tears and is part of what inspires me to create this blog: so I can share it with fans around the globe who love Michael and cannot travel to Los Angeles. I asked her to help me create my annual MJ doll photo. Thirteen years later, the Thriller doll is missing its shoes and the Billie Jean doll have seen better days but these little dolls still make me smile.

My Billie Jean, Beat It, Thriller dolls

Next I see my friend Siren. This year Siren has created multiple drawings of Michael. For years, before I knew who the artist was, I would resonate with her drawings. Finally, around 2014, I met the mystery artist and was inspired by her story.  Her heart is wide open and pure.

Siren and I spoke of the spiritual discovery of Michael and our journeys. “I started to be afraid to look too hard because I didn’t want my bubble to burst but the closer you look, the more you uncover the vault of love. That vault of love is so huge of a love. It was like expanded love, oneness, universal. I couldn’t contain it. Too much for my mind and body. As I studied about Michael, I expanded. It’s not intellectual, it strikes the soul and bursts the heart open. It took me two years to unravel the threads until my mind could believe what happened.” We agreed that the pain alters us, suffering gives us an opportunity for healing. Siren continued. “Michael felt everything. He had a capacity for emotion that he would transmute into his art. We can transmute dark emotions. We are all here to learn from the anger. ” We spoke about his History album and the songs that he created after the false allegations in 1993.

And, Brenda, who traveled with Siren from Canada came over to hug me and we made a photograph as well. It felt good seeing my old friends. Brenda’s artwork is so beautiful to see up close. Her details and colors are so bright and lovely. It made me smile and happy to see her and the latest art.

Camilla Peadilla from Los Angeles created this series of photos of Michael’s smile. 

It’s been thirteen years without Michael Jackson and today, more than ever, I find it encouraging to see people come from different parts of the world to celebrate him all these years later. The creativity behind the cards, paintings, letters and flowers inspire me and it feels good to be outside, amongst other people who could feel the love that this man carried within and shared with his music. Michael wasn’t just one of the greatest artists to walk this earth. He was a kind, compassionate, generous, heart centered, loving and forgiving soul. He teaches us what’s important. We have gone through some dark times the last two years and being at Forest Lawn today gave me a breath of fresh air. I’m grateful I discovered Michael Jackson and the community that he touched. We all have a different story of how we came to know his magic. Mine started after I broke a few ribs on Iron Man 2 the day Michael took his last breath. Sharing our stories brings us together in love which is all Michael ever wanted to do: heal the world. Now, more than ever, our world needs healing and being around others who understood his mission, helps heal my heart.

Created by Siren
Peter Pan by Hannah Kozak
Flowers and card from Siren and Brenda
Card from fan in Singapore
Another creation by Siren
Fans from Hong Kong
Fans from Iran
Russian fans
Self Portrait

18 thoughts on “Thirteen Years Without Michael Jackson

  1. Hannah thank you for doing this for those of us who can’t be there. You did a wonderful job for us all. Just beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much Hannah for sharing this it is so very beautiful and it filled my heart with so much L.O.V.E that Michael brought into my heart and I felt so emotional seeing the beautiful pictures for Michael and the beautiful shared stories. I love and miss Michael so much with all my heart. I hope one day I be there too

      1. You are welcome, Naela. It was an emotional day being at Forest Lawn and I hoped that creating a blog would help fans around the world, like you, that could not be there in person. L.O.V.E.

  2. Hannah…… always your report is stunning heartfelt and beautifully – you made it this year too….. I feel so very grateful to know you through Michael, thank you deeply.

    1. Elin, I’m happy you were able to see my blog this year. I made it after all, my dear friend. I have met lovely friends like you through Michael. Thank you, from my heart.

  3. Beautiful thoughts for Michael, beautiful photos. There was also mine. 👑❤️👑 Thank you.

  4. Thank you very much for your photos, I have not seen my flowers and my card for Michael but I know there were many and this fills my heart with serenity. He will never be forgotten because the world loves him infinitely. Thanks again to you very much.

    1. Hello Schellino,
      You are welcome. There were many flowers and cards this year for Michael. He will never be forgotten, ever. I am glad you enjoyed my blog. It was very hot this year and I left in the early afternoon to drive home, write and create the blog to share with you and others. Thank you, again.

      1. Your blog is very nice and I’m glad to follow it, we from Italy are so far away and your contribution in pictures is really a great gift for us it’s like being there too … I sincerely hope to be able to return to Los Angeles next time June 2023 and maybe to be able to meet you. Thanks so much again. Tiziana

  5. I started creating the blogs on Michael Jackson in 2010 to share with lovely people like you around the world, who cannot be here in person to witness the sea of love. I’m happy you enjoyed it, truly. I hope to meet you in June 2023. Thank you, Tiziana.

  6. What a beautiful collection of hearts and minds.
    Dear Hannah,
    Thank you for this opportunity to feel present, although I’m far away.
    I’m sure for all you are and everything you do – Michael is smiling…

    1. Dear Vered,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and reflect on my blog. I love putting together words and photos to create a story instead of posting single images with no context. I’m grateful you could get the sense of how MJ’s love brings people together from all over the globe. His mission was always love and I do hope Michael is smiling.

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