• DeAara Lewis

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Whitney Houston – Enough is Enough. Let This be the Last one to Succumb to Addiction

I was in the car on my way to the New Edition reunion concert.  My sister and I were frustrated because we were only two minutes away from the exit that would get us to the Desoto Civic Center, but we had been basically sitting in the same spot for close to 30 minutes.  We couldn’t believe how far traffic was backed up.  Apparently, New Edition still had it.

Then I got the text.  A very blunt, straight-forward text from a good friend of mine who was already at the concert and waiting for us to get there – “Whitney Houston is dead.”  That’s all it said.

For about ten seconds, I just stared at my phone.  Then I covered my mouth and said, “Oh my God!”  My sister turned and looked at me and nervously asked, “What is it?  What  happened?”

I looked at her and said, “I don’t even want to say.”  Knowing how she idolized Whitney Houston, remembering it was my sister who played her album repeatedly introducing me to her.  I knew this was not going to go well.

“Whitney Houston is dead.”  I blurted out.  My sister just stared at me and then asked me who sent the message.  I told her who and she dismissed it saying that it was just a cruel joke.  I felt initial relief trying to make myself believe the same thing.  Or maybe he just heard a cruel rumor, but I couldn’t shake it.

“I don’t think he would joke about anything like this.”   So like so many others and with only 10% power left on my cell phone, I googled “Whitney Houston.”  And that’s when I saw it.  The ABC News Headline read, “Whitney Houston Dead at 48.”  I looked at my sister and said, “It’s true.”

She broke down in tears.  I became very afraid because she was driving and I didn’t want to have an accident.  “Pull it together.”  I firmly, but gently told her.  “You’re driving and this is not safe.”

“DeAara, I knew it.  When I read about her having to file bankruptcy Wednesday and about how no matter what she did, she could not get her voice back, I knew this was coming.  I obsessed about it all Wednesday, I couldn’t let it go.”

We went on the concert and watched as Bobby Brown struggled to keep it together on stage.  “This is historical what we are witnessing.  On so many levels.”  I told my sister.  It was a deeply humbling experience.  For two hours it seemed, everything was okay.  Everybody in that concert hall was family and everybody was there for Bobby Brown.

And it was also a bitter reminder that as deeply painful as this was, for me, it was not shocking.  I, like many others, somewhat stop taking Whitney Houston seriously a few years ago.  I judged that she had become a mockery of herself and I felt angry that she had allowed the pressures of life to come down on her so badly that she turned to drugs and refused to 100% commit to the work she needed to do, if not for herself, at least for her daughter.  I reflected back on when Michael Jackson died.  And it hurt.  But for some reason, this hurt deeper for me.  This hurt almost as deeply as Aaliyah’s passing and I took that very, very hard.  I guess because as big of an icon as she was, Whitney seemed more human to me.  She was a woman and she did something I’ve always loved doing – performing.

I coped by going on Youtube and watching the Whitney I chose to remember.  Then other videos kept popping up.  I saw many of her doting on her daughter, her being warm and friendly and no matter what, she always seemed high on life.  Then I read interviews from Kelly Price, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Aretha Franklin, Kim Burrell and Clive Davis and they all echoed the same thing – Whitney loved living and she loved hard.

And maybe that was her blessing and her curse.  Either way, it completely changed my perspective.  Instead of looking at a woman get on stage making a fool out of herself by singing notes that repeatedly would not come out, I saw a fighter.  Someone who knew the odds were stacked against her, but didn’t stop trying.

Instead of seeing a woman desperately clinging on to a man who I believed played a huge part in her downfall, I saw a woman who loved and loved hard.  A woman who so wanted to be loved in return that she dimmed her own light and bent over backwards to make sure the people in her life felt important and loved.

Most of all, I saw a doting mother.  The bond that she and her daughter shared was very touching.  In spite of Whitney’s addiction problems, one thing seemed to shine through with her daughter as with everyone in her life – she loved her hard.

I hope this is a wake up call to the entertainment industry.  Too many celebrities have died this way, too many within the last year.  It’s an old story with none of the acts changing.  It’s damn near predictable now how it will go.  I hope the ones still abusing realize they owe no one anything but themselves and their families.  If their fans don’t understand that, then they were never true fans to begin with.

So wherever Whitney is right now, I am sure that the love she so freely gave to those she loved will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.  And I pray that Whitney finds the peace in death that she never could in life.


3 Responses

  1. Very touching article indeed. This brought tears to my eyes… Whitney is the music I listen to when I purge. She will be so missed. I never gave up on her and I prayed that she’d make a huge come back and continue to light the world up. Thank you for this. You know I have liked a lot youtube post of her music, but I’ve yet to bring myself to watch them. I will do that tonight…

  2. You’re right – Enough is enough. Oh society what have we become?

  3. Hi,

    I am very happy that I got nice information about how to Cure addiction from your blog and I hope you will write more about it.


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