Rarely am I deeply affected by the death of a star. When star tragedy hits the news circuit, I experience the normal reactions, disbelief, sadness, sometimes denial, but it has always been short-lived. When Michael Jackson died, I was in disbelief until his nationally televised funeral. He was indisputably the King of Pop, but I didn’t know him personally. All I knew was he had left us with a legacy of great music and performances that will live on in his absence, albeit premature or old age.
Comparatively, when I heard news of Whitney Houston’s death, my heart dropped. I didn’t realize how much I adored her until she died. I will admit that I was passively rooting for her to overcome her demons. Who doesn’t like a story of triumph?
So many of us struggle with an addiction, whether it’s drugs, work, food or even a man or woman. None of us are perfect and neither was Whitney. She grew up in a famous family, then became a star. While the rest of us was learning who we are in our late teen/the early twenties, I’m sure people compared her to her mother, Cissy Houston, and cousin, Dionne Warwick.
Although Whitney was arguably a better vocalist, she had to have felt the pressure of honoring the family legacy. It must have been difficult for her to go through the typical adolescent stages in a healthy way. I’m sure she lived a sheltered life being the child of a famous singer.
There is a lot of that a star needs to do to prepare for stardom outside of honing their skills. They must learn how to cope with the pressures of being idolized by the public. Their lives are no longer their own. Everything stars do is subject to media scrutiny. Often times, they may feel as if they just can’t win for losing. I’m not saying that Whitney was a victim; after all, she made the choice to stay on the drug train. But I do believe she had been victimized by the media and the public, which that led to her and her daughter, Bobbi Kristina’s, demise.
Stars need to have a high level of emotional resiliency to be able to cope with the pressures of stardom.
Nearly three years after Whitney Houston’s death, Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unresponsive in a bathtub, eerily similar to her mother’s death. Hearing this, I’m sure that the first thing authorities and family members thought of was “foul play.” The situation is so unimaginable that I wrestle with the thought that she was murdered. But, the only thing all of us know is that Bobbi Kristina was very distraught. The public sees this from the choices she made and the bizarre behavior she demonstrated in the months that followed her mother’s untimely death. These details do not paint a full picture of Bobbi Kristina’s life, so all we have at this time is speculation. If there was foul play, justice must prevail!
Bobbi Kristina died on July 26, 2015, after six months of hospitalization. The Houston/Brown families did all they could to save her. Bobby Brown, in particular, had a hard time letting her go. Imagine yourself getting that phone call, hearing the line that your daughter was found unresponsive in a bathtub almost three years after your spouse died the same way. That’s a heavy load– I can understand how the family went into denial overload!
My thoughts and prayers will continually be with the Brown and Houston families. They are suffering immeasurable loss. Despite the choices Whitney made that led to her and possibly her daughter, Bobbi Kristina’s deaths, they were beautiful and talented people–God’s children. Like Cissy Houston, the matriarch of the family, said, “Whatever the Lord decides.” Cissy has long since processed Whitney’s death in a positive light and hopefully she will be able to do the same for her granddaughter’s death. Nevertheless, her account of the incidents that led up to Whitney’s death in her memoir, “Remembering Whitney,” is worth a serious read. In this book, Cissy recalls the personality flaws and family tensions that placed Whitney on an ill-fated journey towards self-destruction, a fate that was later passed down to her daughter, Bobbi Kris. The memoir is filled with wisdom and insight applicable to all parents, but could also offer some child-rearing advice to families tackling the ills of stardom.
I am a firm believer that everything in this world happens for a reason. Although I can see how Whitney and Bobbi Kris’s life and death can impact the lives of others, I’m interested in knowing from my audience: What you learned from Bobbi Kristina and Whitney Houston’s life and death?