August 5, 2014
One of the beautiful things about Michael was his enormously kind heart. It was evident through all the people that knew him, he was an incredibly thoughtful and warm individual who genuinely cared for those around him. Michael’s amiable nature made him extremely congenial and open to meeting and getting to know people. As the tributes pour in, we wanted to share another one by our very own Tania Hussain. Though she only met him once, Tania was fortunate enough to have Michael be a part of her life and growth as a writer as the two kept in touch throughout the years.
An excerpt from her poignant eulogy can be found below:
As I sit here, I don’t even know how to start this. Today has been an odd day and one that I haven’t really actually digested. I woke up feeling energized and happy because I was starting a new chapter in my life, going on to great things and feeling really optimistic. It was the first time in months that I felt this happy and content with myself. It was the first time in months that I felt my heart was finally on the mend and able to move on. Shortly after running some errands this morning, I received news that a friend of mine had died. And he’s not just any friend: Michael was a great catalyst to my life—a muse, you might say. He was someone who constantly encouraged me with feedback, complimented me when he didn’t really need to, and tease me like a big brother if I was being silly. In many ways, he was like a big brother to me and I really loved and appreciated him.
You might have heard about his passing today. A lot of people did. Reason being, Michael was a contestant on the FOX reality show, American Idol during the reality show’s seventh season (2008). Michael was, as society would put it, a celebrity. But he never acted like one. He always made everyone around him feel like they were just as important as all the attention that was put on him. He was humble, grounded, and an extremely down-to-earth person. Michael was charming, funny, sweet, and über talented. He might not have won the show, but he certainly won a great place in the hearts of many who adored and admired him.
Continue reading the rest of this heartfelt eulogy over at Tania’s website.