Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec 22nd episode - Roloff family remembers Mike Detjen

I wanted to get this up relatively quickly to give people a place to post their thoughts. If you're reading after just watching the Little People Big World episode about the death of their dear family friend, Mike Detjen, you're probably still crying!

It was a very emotional hour. I wanted to say before I begin talking about the episode; some people are voicing their feelings that TLC were disrespectful to Mike by showing this episode as the finale, I don't feel that way.

It is a reality show and death is a part of life. Viewers have come to know Mike through his friendship with the Roloff family. It had to be addressed. It would have been disrespectful to not dedicate an entire episode to Mike and what he meant to the Roloffs. I thought the show was very tastefully done and it obviously had the blessing of Mike's son, Tim Detjen.

The only aspect of the show that I would have changed if I were producing would have been the first 20 minutes of the program. I would have skipped that much of an emphasis on building the second Trebuchet and focused more on how involved Mike was in the lives of the Roloffs during the last 7 years. Unless you were a hardcore follower, I don't think the first 20 minutes really prepared viewers for why Amy, Jeremy and the entire Roloff family were so completely devastated by Mike's death.

Emotional moments? The entire hour was emotional. Amy carried the episode as the main narrator and her emotion was evident in her voice throughout. Matt's speech was also very touching. It is always hard to see someone that is usually so strong breakdown.

However, the entire memorial footage was just full of tears. It was a very nice touch for all the kids on the soccer team to wear their jerseys and to place the soccer shoes by Mike's picture.

That would choke anybody up. Zach's speech was to the point and very true. Another coach would not have given Zach the opportunity in soccer. I believe it was the only time we've ever seen Zach start to sound emotional, as his voice was breaking a few times.

Amy's speech was very touching as well. The pain in her voice was very clear. It was nice that she mentioned Mike's son, Tim, and how Mike told her he was so proud of his sons and would tell her every time they called.

If there was one moment that had the most emotion for me, it was Jeremy's speech. After hearing throughout the show about how distraught Jeremy was, I wasn't sure he was going to be able to speak. I'm glad he did. I've never seen Jeremy so vulnerable. His interview that followed was also incredibly sad and heartbreaking. He spoke from the heart and the pain in his voice was very moving to hear. His words were very true. Jeremy learned a very important and hard lesson about life at a relatively young age when he spoke about never taking people in your life and what they do for you, for granted. I thought Jeremy showed a lot of strength to give the speech he did at the memorial.

Personally, I can't complain about anything involving Mike's death. I think it was a lovely tribute and in my mind, it is not disrespectful to celebrate someone's life and show how much his loss meant to his good friends.

If you missed this episode, be sure to catch it on the repeat and have tissues in hand.


katie said...

i spent the whole time crying. i felt so bad for jeremy. all of them, really.

Victor said...

It was an excellent tribute to a very kind man.
I didn't realize how close he was to Jeremy.

RIP Mike.

Carly said...

I cried like a baby for the whole thing. My heart broke for the Roloffs. I loved Jeremy's speech, too. It tugged at my heart strings.

Maria Doole said...

Even though I didn't Mike, it's amazing how I felt like I did. He will be missed by many.

I sobbed during the memorial.

nic said...

wonderful memories of Mike... love you

Roberta said...

A wonderfully emotional episode. Thank you Roloffs and Detjen family for sharing.

Joanne said...

I thought they did a good job of portraying how much Mike meant to all of them. It broke my heart to watch, and I especially cried when Matt started to cry and he looked at Amy, and she was choked up, then the kids... I feel their pain, and I have been in their shoes many times. May GOD bless the Roloff family.
This also explains the episode when Matt went to Iraq. They seemed "off" or more quiet than usual. Amy just stood there watching matt leave till she couldnt see his car anymore. Very emotional time for them.

Anonymous said...

By any chance is this episode available online anywhere? I missed it. :(

Jason W said...

Matt and Jeremy choked me up the most.

Anonymous said...

i thought it was very low of matt to take off for iraq instead of showing his respect for mike at the memorial service.
if he cared at all about mike he would have delayed his trip but as usual, it had to be all about matt instead of mike.

Anonymous said...

if this was truly a reality show mike's death would have been the first show of the season. in my eyes waiting 6 months to talk about his death.
why was matt's trip to iraq more important than mike's death if mike was such a dear friend of the family?
mike didn't get top billing, he got the last billing. that's very sad for people who claim to have cared for mike so much.

Jocelynn Pearson said...

Anonymous on December 24, 2008 7:45 PM....It's not possible to re-schedule a trip to Iraq. Those children needed help. Mike wouldn't have wanted the Roloffs to stop living and to stop helping people.

Jean said...

Could someone please tell me why Jeremy was so distraught? I knew Mike was a friend of the family, but I didn't know he was that close to Jeremy. There seemed to be a deeper connection between Jeremy and Mike than they portrayed.

Joanne said...

Jean, obviously Jeremy was very close to Mike. Plus, his death came as a shock as he wasnt ill, and this is the first time Jeremy lost someone close to him. I understand his being distraught.
Matt mentioned that Mike was over every day, so he was like a family member.

Anon... They cant just reschedule a trip to Iraq. Matt of course didnt want to miss the memorial but he said Mike knew how important it was for him to go, and that Mike would want him to go. I am sure he was torn, and said he didnt want to leave the family.
And this trip to Iraq was about getting help for those dwarf children, not at all about Matt. Shame on you.

mommyof3greatkids said...

I wanted to see this episode but it was just a couple of days before Christmas and I was out shopping. If I was at home I don't think I could have made it through the episodes. I think they could have shown it at a different time than Christmas. Christmas time for most is the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is one of the times of year that you remember loved ones that have passed on and that may be why they aired it then. But for some, including myself, it can be a time of sadness, grieving, depression and dark thoughts. The holiday season for myself is sometimes very difficult...I think about my late sister who died from juvenile diabetes at almost 34 years old (1995), Christmas was her favorite time of the year. I think of my late brother, killed in a plane crash five days before turning 46 (2002), Christmas was one of the days I knew I would see him since he was a pilot and lived four hours away. Now I know I won't see him at Christmas. People have to understand that there are people out there dealing with what is called "Decembered grief" Living with loss while others are celebrating. This is an actual book if you'd like to check it out. I think TLC should have thought about the time a little better. Thanks for listening.

tsagrednerp said...

This was a really difficult episode. I was emotional too because everyone was so affected, Amy breaking down was really what did it for me. She is so strong for everyone in the family she really is the rock of that family and for her to break down that was so emotional and sad.