I'm sure everyone has heard by now that Whitney Houston has died. I am sure the tech savvy have updated their facebook statuses and tweeted about how the news has made them feel.
For me, the 140 character limit (or whatever it is) on Twitter just wouldn't suffice. I updated my facebook status, but I actually feel compelled to share more on how the news makes me feel.
My first reaction was 'Oh God, be with the family'. To us, Whitney was an icon, a legend. But to her family, she was a Mother, a God-daughter, a friend. I have lost people close to me and I cannot imagine how much more intense it must to be to grieve in public. To crave for quiet time, when the world is in a frenzy and wants to talk, and write and speculate, when all you need is peace in your heart. I just guess it must be really hard. That was my first thought. The same as when Princess Diana died - I thought of her sons - who were the same age as me and had lost their Mum. The same as when MJ died, I thought of his kids (biological or not, MJ was their 'Daddy').
My second reaction was 'she was so young!' 48! I grew up listening to her, I own her albums. I have her greatest hits and I know all the words. I was sad about MJ because he made a BIG mark on music, and I loved his music, and I also owned his 'Number One's' album...but I can't say I knew all the words. With Whitney it's was different. If I could only listen to one artist for the rest of my life - it would be Whitney. The fact that the Greatest Hits album is divided into 'throw down' and 'cool down' explains why. She had a song for every emotion. She had the words and the voice.
My third reaction was 'the memories'. I grew up listening to Whitney, just like I grew up listening to MJ and the Beatles (thanks Dad), Mariah, Beyonce, Usher (and Shaggy - but that's a different story!). These are the people that I have heard about since I can remember. These are the people whose lyrics I always return to. I have two very special and old friends (I call them the originals), who I hold near and dear. At school, practically all day, every day, we would sing. In class, at lunch, on the field, at people's house parties. We used to arrange to sneak out of lessons to listen to our walkman and sing. Yes, I said 'walkman' - the ones with a cassette that you had to turn over to get to the B side! We sang Whitney, we sang Mariah and these artists were always in our playlists! Whenever I do karaoke, I know what my song is: I wanna dance with somebody. I love that bit at the end where she says 'heeeeeeeeaT'. I LOVE it. I just feel saddened that Whitney had such an amazing career and was SO inspirational to SO many people the world over. I'd hate for her to be remembered for the wrong things.
Life is life and these things happen, sure - but when God blesses us with such a talent and gives us a bank load of phrases to draw on throughout our lives - there just has to be a moment of pause.
'I hope life treats you kind, and I hope you have all you dreamed of, and I wish to you - joy and happiness, but above all this I wish you love'
That is just such a deep line people.
'It's your fault you didn't love him enough; that's the problem, I loved him too much'
Again - if you've been there and you get it - these words cut deep
'Could I have this kiss forever?' - that really gets me! So many times I have wished the kiss would last forever....seriously!
'If you say my eye are beautiful, it's because they're looking at you!' - this just gets me because I believe that. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
'It's not right, but it's OK'
'Each day I live, I want to be, a day to give, the best of me. I'm only one but not alone, my finest day is yet unknown'
'There can be miracles, when you believe'
We can only hope and pray eh?
Anyway, I am sure there are tonnes of tribute posts to Whitney rolling out today, so I wont continue on here. Just to say, my heart goes out to her family and to the families of other people who have lost a loved one at this time and who will inevitably be surrounded by images of grief/tribute even if it's not of their loved one. I pray that God gives all those that need it a shoulder. Well, the shoulder is always there, but I hope that he opens up their hearts so they can use it!
I am so grateful for the memories that I have and I the mark that Whitney's voice has left on my soul. Sounds cheesy, but it's true. I really regret that there will be no more from Whitney.