I think I missed the late news only three times in the last thirty years. So I got the tragic news that John Lennon had been murdered and Princess Diana had been killed after having the last peaceful night of sleep for a while in both cases. Yesterday morning when I flipped on Good Morning America, I sat in stunned silence as the newscasters let the millions of people who slept in a little late know that Whitney Houston was dead at 48. Shocked and not surprised. Saddened and pissed off.
I know I am not alone in my reaction to the untimely death of a woman whose voice and stunning face had no competition. Her voice embraced all of us and dare I say it had tremendous soul, but it had no color. Her music belonged to all of us. Even music purists and snobs would have to acknowledge that her voice was so utterly pure and she sang better than most vocalists who came before and after her.
I heard, “I Will Always Love You” last week and it is one of those songs that you stop what you are doing and just listen. Listen to that voice and get a lump in your throat and thoughts. Who would always love us like that? I don’t care if you are a heavy metal banger, a classical devotee or alternative rock follower; you had to give Whitney her props.
Too bad the demons got a hold of Whitney and did not let go. I am not going to do the blame game here although I think her ex, Bobby Brown should get his ass kicked and never know another day of joy. I wanted her to win the drug attack on her body, mind, soul and voice. But we can’t know the strength of the demons unless they are in us. And we all have them. It is the degree that we fight them that makes all the difference – between life and death.
We creative souls, I believe, have to keep reminding ourselves that creativity sometimes comes with a cost. I have battled my demons and right now they are cut and bruised and keeping far away from me. As they should be doing.
So if you ever feel like your demons are taking over, don’t wait till you can’t come back home. Get help. Let Whitney be a constant reminder that your creativity needs to be nurtured almost as much as you need to be nurtured and loved.
Don’t take your drugs to your grave because, trust me, the bad boys will just move on to their next victim.
RIP. And may your daughter and mother find peace.
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