Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11th at 8:24pm, I got a text from Dmoe.

DMoe: "Whitney is gone"

I reply: "??"

I mean, after all...there is only ONE "Whitney" - just as there is only ONE Prince, ONE Janet, ONE Michael, ONE Madonna, ONE Cher, ONE Luther...the list goes as to those who have achieved single name status. Yet, when I read "Whitney is gone," I refused to believe that it was THAT "Whitney" he was referring to.

DMoe: "Whitney Houston"

Me: "Gone as in dead?"

DMoe: "Died. Dead B"

It felt as if my heart stopped.

Whitney Houston was dead at the age of 48. Wow. I was stunned.

I immediately opened up my laptop to log onto Facebook where I seem to get all of my up-to-the-minute information nowadays. Post after post read "RIP Whitney", "We will always love you Whitney", "We miss you already Whitney."

It was true. So tragic.

But as I read more, there were those that left other sentiments.

"This is what drugs do to you, she brought it on herself."

"Overdose, she was acting crazy, I saw this coming."

While there was no official cause of death determined as of yet, a combination of prescription pills and alcohol are believed to be the culprit. So while her death may have been self inflicted, the cynicism on some posts seemed a bit cold, and unnecessary.

Yes, she struggled with drug abuse. Yes, she displayed erratic behavior. Like so many millions of people who struggle with addiction every day, what they need is not cynicism, or judgment or condemnation. What they need is help. They need prayer.

You never know what a person struggles with on the inside - what demons they try to hide from the rest of the world. And when you are a worldwide phenomenon like Whitney Houston, dealing with and hiding those demons would be a monumental feat. Most people suffer in anonymity. I can't imagine a life where in exchange for sharing your God given gifts with the world, the trade off is surrendering your privacy to the point where your faults, mishaps and mistakes are on full blast.

Yet even with her addiction, there was just something about her. She moved through the world as if she had universal carte blanche, with regal ease. She was a queen, a diva with talent unmatched - the voice of an angel. Beneath the poise and her presence was something more. We admired her, not just because of the power behind her voice, but because we suspected that she had the influence of Divine favor upon her. She was a child of God. It's called Grace.

And any of us can fall from it.

For many of us, it is through the Grace of God that we are still here. He protects us, is our source of strength and guides our steps. And when we've had enough, when we can no longer stand on our own, he either holds us up, or calls us home. Whitney surrendered to Grace and now rests in perfect peace.

She is no longer an addict. She isn't battling anymore demons. There is no more fear. Her spirit is comforted and she is made whole. She is made perfect through God's care and mercy - washed clean with majestic grace. She is free.

What we can learn from her passing, especially if you are suffering out loud or in silence, is that you don't have to be called home to receive God's grace upon you. You don't have to search for anything "out there" to take your pain away or to cope with life's tribulations - because the Kingdom is within. The universe is there to support you. THAT assurance gives us the ease we call grace - and we have unlimited inner resources to battle any problem, affliction, addiction or circumstance.

Life is unfolding in its perfect pattern, and death is no accident. It may seem sad and tragic to those of us who are living, but God knows exactly what He's doing. So savor this precious time that God is giving us - the days of grace that we are so blessed to have. Help and pray for those in crisis, and rejoice when suffering ends. Be transformed by wisdom and understanding in times of need and quieter moments of reflection, and be blessed on your life path...and be a blessing to others.



Anthony Otero said...

RIP Whitney. (I will forgo the usual first acclimation)

A-buzzzz said...

I agree with Ant.. It's not about being first today. This post should just NOT exist. I still can't believe that she is gone. I understand the feeling that this is what happens when you abuse drugs BUT let's have a heart for one second she didn't deserve this. Her mother doesn't deserve to be going thru this & Neither does her daughter. She was an addict. She had problems that some of us will NEVER understand. And regardless of the hot mess that she made her life at times. I was rooting for her. Rooting that she'd come back better than ever. And be the stunning woman with the AMAZING voice.
All I can say is I hope she finds the peace in death that she didn't find in life. And may her & god watch over her daughter because it seems like she will need the help.

Courtney said...

Brooke, I agree, we should say a prayer now that her soul is at rest. I was rooting for her too, so this was very sad for me and I'm sure all of her fans around the world. I'm also praying for her mother and daughter and her family. They will need so much comfort in the weeks and months to come, but they can take solace in knowing she's no longer suffering.

DMoe said...

I'm stunned and saddened, but thankful that my Whitney playlist existed while she had breath in her lungs. Far too often, we laud those who have left us long after they can hear the applause. I agree with B's words, and echo the sentiment.

I heard one thing over the weekend that struck a chord amongst the garbled noise that comes with the untimely death of a talented person who's fallen from grace, fallen down, tried to stand up, and is now laid to rest: I heard a music critic say that Whitney changed the face of music with her rendition of a country standard, and this nation's most highly-regarded hymn, the star-spangled banner.

Neither song can be the same ever again, thanks to the voice that God gave her and she gave to us.

She is missed.


Yolanda said...

We can learn a lot from Whitney's death and Don Cornelius' suicide. I feel terribly for both of their families. It is time for black folks to start having open discussions about addiction and mental health. Our churches need to start a dialogue, as do our families and inner circles. It's not enough to just say "oh, he's just my crazy uncle" or to just pray for your addict cousin, yet still enable their habits. We have to do more.

john said...

That is incredibly deep Brooke. Say a prayer, mean it, learn from her death, and most importantly trust in God. R.I.P. Nippy : ) with your crazy gifted self.

Stef said...

Brooke, this post was beautifully written. Your words are a gift.

RIP Whitney, be still and free. I'm so sad by her passing, but happy that her suffering is over.

Jay said...

This was perfect. God rest her soul.

Geeque4u said...

R.I.P Whitney....

The Cable Guy said...

Brooke, you couldn't have said it better. Whitney is at peace now, and I pray for her family, friends and fans that they find comfort in her peace.

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