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Grieving Whitney

Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on February 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

In some ways we lost Whitney Houston several years ago, when her song was first tarnished by the drugs and alcohol that ravaged her life. We should have seen this coming. We should have been able to prevent this. That’s what hurts so much when you lose someone like Whitney. Her precious gift that we cherished and admired is what made her so vulnerable.

She admitted to terrible stage fright, fearing “the sound of 10.000 disappointed people.” She admitted to being her own devil, her own worst enemy, even though she knew she was a beloved child of God. Why couldn’t we help her?

The battles Whitney had to fight were not that different from those we all face. How do I give my gift to the world? How do I cope with my fears of failure? How do I resist the temptation to numb myself from the pain that overwhelms me?

Whitney Houston had the gift of song that was meant to be a blessing to all of us, but turned out to be a curse to her. Giving us that gift was costly for her. It took everything she had to perform for us and that sacrifice gradually destroyed her life. She was the proverbial flame that extinguishes itself in the process of providing us with light.

We longed to see Whitney rise from the ashes of her self-destruction, to hear once again the sweet melody of her voice that we have missed for several years, to see her overcome the addiction that plagued her and fill us with the music we so desperately need.

But Whitney was not here to show us how to rise again and renew ourselves. Her gift to us was the reminder of just how fragile life really is and how close we are, in every moment, to losing it all. Whitney brought us a fleeting glimpse of the music of heaven, a brief opportunity to listen and be transformed.

But then the time came for her to leave. And the lesson for us became letting go. Remember Whitney’s song, so pure and powerful, and her life, too short for our needs, but perfect in its own trajectory.

We have been so blessed to have shared these years on this planet with Whitney Houston. Let’s not waste the lesson. Cherish every note, every word, every flicker of the flame of your life as you follow your own path through the stars of the Universe.

Categories: Current Events, Grief, Death & Dying

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Copyright ©2010 Karen Wyatt, MD

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