14 February 2012

Tragedy: Whitney Houston


Where do broken hearts go?

Yesterday I watched the Grammy Awards and saw the continual tributes to the legend Whitney Houston. She was awarded two Emmy Awards, 6 Grammy awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. And the news kept reporting of her tragic death, the scene of being found in a bathtub in Beverly Hills, California, drowned or dead of a drug overdose. Houston began singing with her New Jersey church's gospel choir at age 11.

I immediately flashed on Michael Jackson and the blame game that ensued and the lawsuits eventually toppling his doctor who gave him too many drugs at inopportune times which in turn toppled the King of Pop.

They used terms on the tv and in the papers in the reporting about Whitney like tragic, tragedy, too early, shame. And I don't mean to demean the reality of her dying. She was 49 years old having burst onto the scene in 1985 although she performed in nightclubs with her mother from her teens. She was the first black woman to be a cover girl on Seventeen magazine. So what is tragic about her death?

Maybe we ought to define our terms. Tragedy. Tragic. Dictionary.com tells us tragedy is "a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction."

Maybe that's perfect here. Whitney was a 'great person' as her CV will show but I’m not talking about greatness like moral or strong on behalf of others necessarily. [For more information, see her Wikipedia entry Whitney here. ] To be fair, we are not privy to the entire dramatic composition, but we have watched, and the networks have exposed her drug addictions.

Rick Dewsbury in the UK Daily Mail wrote yesterday, "Miss Houston entered the music industry as an innocent teenager with dreams shared by so many of being a pop star. But for anybody with slight vulnerabilities, a world flooded with drugs, yes-men, wealth and hangers-on, is a dangerous place…Surrounded by an entourage who must take some of the responsibility for her demise, she pushed herself ever harder in attempt to regain those highs… The entertainment industry simply cannot continue to turn a Nelsonian eye to the endemic drug abuse that claims so many lives. After the latest tragedy it's time for all of those involved, including the performers, to finally do some soul-searching and look at the dark forces at work that allow our most gifted artists who bring joy to so many to go into a tailspin of destruction.”  Read more by Dewsbury here Telegraph article

So Dewsbury is saying the tragedy in part is the responsibility of those around Whitney. Or the industry itself. Again the blame game finds its way into the press. 

End of the day, we are each responsible for our own decisions. You and I can live with pain and suffering without drugs or with them. Karl Marx said, ‘History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

The loss of Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix… and now Whitney. Who is next? Will it be tragic or simply put, a very sad ending to a person’s (like Whitney’s) needs not being fulfilled back in the church where she grew up in New Jersey. I know, church is not THE answer, but fulfillment I believe is only found in relationship with God, and in being forgiven of our sins in relation to our faith in Jesus, the Messiah whom God sent to the planet.

And we each are seeking for fulfillment in fame or beauty or mounting moneys or something, but riches ‘makes itself wings and flies away.’ Only relationship with God endures to the end and to the ends we need.

The human tragedy is not only related to rock singers and R&B artists. It’s not only about Henri Toulouse-Lautrec or Columbine High school shootings. It’s about you and me. What will we do with our life? What will we do with Jesus?
May Whitney’s family, especially her daughter, find comfort in this difficult time of mourning, and may God be able to welcome her into His Kingdom by the evidence of her faith, as only He can judge.

Whitney sang “Where do broken hearts go?”  [See the YouTube here: ” You tube ] “Can they find their way home back to the open arms of a love that’s waiting there? And if somebody loves you, won’t they always love you?” That’s the message of God’s awesome love to Ms Houston and to you and to me. 
 The Bible says, “For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.7-8) That’s awesome love. That’s worth pondering today.

2 comments:

June Lenard Arceta said...

sHE'LL BE MISSED..

Ive also made kind of a tribute to her at http://justjuncci.blogspot.com/2012/02/whitney-houston-greatest-hits-cd-1-01.html

Eliza said...

How deceptive....she has not been 'on top' in 10 years, top to the 'hangers on' crowd..she wasted a wonderful talent,,,she was not thinking about her child......