Raw, random and needed (for me) Whitney Houston - my thoughts
As I try to shake the death of Whitney Houston off of my brain I can’t help but evaluate and outwardly express why her death has affected me in the first place. Since the news was released to the public I have thought about it more than I care to even admit. As a man in my mid 30s, I wonder why this has struck a particular chord with me.
Yes, I am one of the many who shook their head seeing the pictures of her downward spiral in pictures or upon watching a YouTube video with her voice a frightening shadow of what made her such a formidable star in the first place. And no, I haven’t purchased a Whitney album since Heartbreak Hotel. I was a distant fan, always willing and ready to hear a Whitney song from the 80s and 90s but unwilling to bear witness to anything less than who she once was.
Yet, I’m sad. Sad, for a woman I’ve never met, never seen live in concert and haven’t listened to in more years that I can even remember.
I had to ask myself why, and what I discovered within was far more personal than just losing Whitney Houston. It stems from the loss of loved ones in general. As I think about my own daughter and what my loss would mean to her – it brings tears to my eyes. When I think of her mother who loved her like any mother would - unconditionally and without fail it breaks my heart. Those are obvious feelings however, what is more sobering for me is how we as a people take life for granted. How Whitney, Michael, our own friends and family become the butt of jokes at their lowest times, forgotten until the next opportunity to gossip or untimely death.
We take for granted that people, all people have an expiration date. We take for granted that they will be here, surviving our neglect, fodder and short memories of their humanness despite their shortcomings. Whitney dead at 48. Only when they are gone do we began to reflect and that feeling is often - wait we weren’t finished with them yet. We never got the chance to say sorry, never got the chance to take it all back because what made her great once made her great always even at her lowest. Never got the chance to celebrate the talent she gifted to the world until it was too late. We took her for granted; only remembering that she was a loving mother and daughter, legendary vocalist, fun loving artist, and beautiful personality on February 11th.
If Whitney Houston’s death has done nothing else but finally shut mouths and end judgment let it also be the day that we stop taking life for granted. Whitney was a daughter and a mother. Whitney was an incomparable vocal artist, brilliant and beautiful.
Let me be one of those people who speak to the spirit world to which you now reside that I am sorry for forgetting you. Sorry, that I ever judged you as if you should have been exempt from the trials this world can often bring and I’m so sorry Whitney that I assumed you would remain here on earth beyond your 48th year of life for me to once again celebrate you in life instead of now in death.
No one will ever mourn you like your mother and daughter but I thank you for being you and sharing your talent with the world. You are a legend – a superstar beyond measure and now that we have been reminded in such a tragic way I hope that your true family and friends can take solace that you will not and cannot ever be forgotten again. R.I.P. Whitney Houston.