Sorry I took so long to jump on the bandwagon and write about one of my childhood/teenage musical idols. I just needed time, guys. This one, like the death of Michael, really felt like a sort of personal loss, and I was pissed off at how these people are going to be remembered going out, like some druggie, as if the vulture-like industry didn’t have anything to do with their deaths.
Even now, as I look at Whitney Houston videos, I realize that my favorite songs were the ones that weren’t the ones that I feel everyone went crazy about, at least they weren’t the ones that necessarily made her anymore famous, like “My Love is Your Love” (if you listen to the words, you will understand the kind of love that I’m striving for in my life) and “Why Does It Hurt So Bad” (because damnit! It really fucking does.)
But… I also see ads for movies played before the video, just like any other YouTube clip, and I think about how sick it is that so many people will profit from the loss of this great human being. I believe she was great just because she was sincere, not because she could sing. She was “stank” as we call it in my social circle, and that’s a compliment: it’s an inner strength combined with a little soul, and a knowing that you won’t take shit off of anybody, at least not for long.
I even have had to stop several times while writing this and just sob, not just shed a few tears, but one of those heaving cries that comes from your gut. Whitney even said in her song “My Love is Your Love,” If I should die this very day, don’t cry/cause on Earth we wasn’t meant to stay. Wow, the implications of that lyric are more important now than ever. And it’s strange that, dealing with some things in my own life, everyday feels like a kind of Judgement Day for me. So I listen to that song over and over again just feeling like she’s talking to me.
A recurrent theme over the last few days for me has been “gifts,” probably because Whitney had such a great one and literally sacrificed her life to share it with the world. I thank her for that, because I just wanted to be able to sing a little bit, just an ounce of how she was able to, and I could tell it came so effortlessly to her. Anyone who sings, or admires a person because of their talent that they too possess can probably relate. We want to hone our skill to the point where we make it look easy. It was scary how good she was though. It gave me chills.
Really, I think she was simply a vessel for God to work through, and what’s better, she sang about Love. As Generation X and Y, through her music we learned about what Romantic Love felt like before we had experienced it, and we knew God had to be the most generous God, because look what gifted souls he had blessed us with?
I’m not here to idolize this woman, but how do you express such pain about the loss of someone whom you’ve never met? How do you do that without adding to the pressure that is part of what made them break? Is this just a trick of the media? Why does it hurt so bad?
I don’t have any answers. I just know that it does hurt. And years after we lost Michael, I STILL get pissed off at all the drama and controversy of how he died, I still have Michael music video marathons, and think about what could have been. But then, selfish as I can be, I’m also grateful that I even got to experience him through his music, and that gorgeous smile.
Whitney also had a breathtaking, perfect smile…