Michael Jackson's parents' struggle
Michael Jackson's father Joe and mother Katherine are finding it difficult to deal with the death of their son, claims close family friend Reverend Jesse Jackson
Michael Jackson's parents are struggling to cope with the "suddenness" of his death.
Joe and Katherine Jackson are finding it hard to come to terms with the loss of the 50-year-old pop legend - who died in Los Angeles last Thursday (25.06.09) of a suspected cardiac arrest - because he had seemed fit and well.
Family friend Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is not related to the family, said: "Katherine and Joe are strong but they are grieving. Michael is the first loss of any of their children, which compounds it. They are grieving over the suddenness of the loss of Michael. It was so sudden. And I say 'sudden' because he had passed his health test, he was rehearsing every day for his UK concerts and was in full training for the big tour. The tour was sold out.
"There was a real joy with Michael in recent months. So there is real grief now. He was at the top of his art. He was the best who ever did it."
Michael - who is survived by three children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II - was due to perform 50 comeback shows in London, beginning next month.
Jesse added Michael's family are "concerned" about the manner of his death.
Although he does not point the finger at Michael's personal physician Dr. Conrad Murphy, he admits the family were worried by his behaviour.
Conrad has undergone a three-hour interview with the Los Angeles Police Department, with his representative later saying: "Investigators say the doctor is in no way a suspect and remains a witness to this tragedy."
Meanwhile, Michael's father Joe and the rest of his family have released a statement detailing how his death has affected them.
It says: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.
"We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you - who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.
"My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."