*In a touching tribute posted to Instagram, Paris Jackson writes about the final days and moments spent with her grandfather, Joe Jackson, before he passed away of pancreatic cancer early Wednesday.
The 20-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson shared a poignant photograph of her holding his hand in his final moments, and also posted pics of Joe from his younger years.
“Spending those last few moments with you were everything,” Paris, 20, wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption. “Being able to tell you everything i needed to tell you before saying goodbye was such a blessing.”
“I will cherish every moment with you til the day i die, especially our last moments. being able to hold your hand, lay with you and cuddle you, give you kisses all over your cheeks and forehead, meant more to me than you’ll ever know. quoting advice you gave me when i was a little kid and seeing your eyes light up, sharing stories my dad used to tell me about you, telling a joke and hearing you laugh for the last time.. my heart is full knowing we left each other in that way.”
Michael’s daughter went on to describe her grandfather as “the first true Jackson. the legend that started it all,” promised that her future great-grand kids would know his name and asked that he follow through on his promise to visit her after his transition.
Paris was one of many family members, friends and colleagues who hit social media with tributes to the Jackson patriarch.
Daughter LaToya Jackson was the first to speak out, tweeting Wednesday: “I will always love you. You gave us strength, you made us one of the most famous families in the world. I am extremely appreciative of that, I will never forget our moments together and how you told me how much you cared. #RIP Joe Jackson.”
Tito Jackson’s son Taj Jackson tweeted: “Disgusted by some of the comments I’m reading about my grandpa Joe by those who didn’t even know him. Please don’t just regurgitate what you were spoon fed by the press. Joe was loved by our ENTIRE family and our hearts are in pain. Let us grieve without the nastiness.#ripthehawk.”
Motown founder Berry Gordy shared in a statement: “I remember back when he brought his talented kids to Motown. I could see that they were well disciplined, and that he and his wife, Katherine, had instilled in them a very strong work ethic. Without Joe ’s early commitment to his family, the world may have never experienced the musical gift of the Jackson 5 and the world’s greatest entertainer, Michael Jackson.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson tweeted: “Joe Jackson, brother beloved, patriarch & creator of one of the most talented American musical dynasties. We will remember him as long as his family’s music plays. Offering prayers and condolences to the Jackson family. #RIP #NeverCanSayGoodbye #JoeJackson.”
“R.I.P. joe Jackson the legend we will never forget,” rapper and Oscar-winning songwriter Juicy J tweeted.
“#JoeJackson passed at 89 as the patriarch of a family that has mainstreamed our culture. He was never given the credit he deserved. He influenced the world of music with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and others. May history correct his legacy,” tweeted the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Ken Ehrlich, who produces the Grammys and other TV specials, said in a statement: “I worked with Joe Jackson both on some of our Michael Jackson appearances, and equally with Janet when we brought her to FAME to play Cleo in 1984. With Janet, both he and Katharine spent a great deal of time on the FAME set with us and what struck me was the love and pride they had in all of their kids, but particularly Michael and Janet. Joe was always pretty clear on what he wanted, and what he wanted wasn’t always easy to deliver, but certainly appreciated his directness, and learned a lot from him. Although he and Michael will always be linked in my mind, he was the patriarch of one of music’s true dynasties, and he will be missed. My thoughts go out to the entire Jackson family.”