's heartrending farewell speech to her father was an act of courage - and an important part of the healing process, child therapists said Wednesday.The 11-year-old showed strength and maturity in telling the world how much she loved "Daddy" - and the outpouring will help her move on.
"When you're going through the grieving process, if everybody else is talking but you don't get to say how you feel, it can hurt you inside," said parenting expert Meri Wallace
"It probably made her feel stronger. It will help her repair." Paris
' gutsy 20 seconds in the spotlight provided rare and perhaps surprising insight into Jackson family dynamics.
As the young girl broke down sobbing in aunt Janet Jackson
's arms, her older brother Prince Michael reached over to join the hug.
"It's an intuitive bond," said clinical social worker and family therapist Michelle Ascher Dunn
. "No one told them to do this. As she was talking they reached out for each other. You could see that Michael Jackson
took care of them as a family unit."
Jackson's youngest, Prince Michael II, known as Blanket, stood near his siblings clutching a Michael Jackson doll.
Therapists said the memorial was probably too much for the 7-year-old to grasp, and the one-gloved doll was his way of holding on to his father.
The children's role in the sendoff, and particularly Paris' raw remarks, brought the audience to tears. New Yorkers who saw it on TV said the moment stayed with them a day later.
"I had started to cry before Paris even spoke," said Michelle Burns
, 28, of the Bronx
. "Because she's his daughter, it was emotional. And it was the first time anyone had really seen her."