Whitney Houston-I Look to You

THE DEATH OF WHITNEY HOUSTON—Oh, the comments, conversations and judgmental remarks I have heard this week relating to the death of Whitney Houston. It amazes me how many are standing in a place of criticism, edging into judgment, not to mention sensationalistic journalism, about her death.

As I sat in conversation with a group this week, I heard some amazing statements. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty certain none of those in the room were in the hotel when she passed away.

“She was a typical junky.”  “She was doing drugs with her daughter.”  “Bobby Brown did it all. He should be arrested for her death.”  “Just another junky looking for another fix. It’s a choice. If somebody wants to quit an addiction, they just decide to quit, and quit.” (Yeah, I know, that one still astounds me!). It just went downhill from there.

Then along comes Nancy Grace on Good Morning America, reaching into her typical bag of trash, seeming to imply perhaps the death of Whitney Houston may have been a murder. When Dan Abramson took her to task on national television for making “an inappropriate comment,” suggesting she simply apologize for overstepping her bounds as a journalist, she stood her ground with the stiff neck we’ve all come to expect. Nancy, just a suggestion. Your last name is “Grace.” Perhaps you should offer some up to others. Let’s not turn the death of Whitney Houston into a circus like, oh, I don’t know, the Casey Anthony one you covered so well. Just an observation—I’m just saying. . .

Whitney had her days of destruction. She was raised in what has been described as a rough area of New Jersey. But she also had/has a church family and friends who know the “Nippy” who grew up singing in the church choir. To have Marvin Winans as a pastor must have been quite an experience, not to mention a mother who won awards for her gospel singing, and a godmother known as the Queen of Soul, who is also an ordained minister. Whitney had a firm spiritual foundation. She faltered, she strayed, but who stands in a position to say where she was when she died?

Okay, Whitney was a mega-superstar. She was “The Voice.” She was also a mother, a daughter, a niece and cousin. She was a friend, a mentor. She was a human being, and her family is now dealing with a great loss. Let’s at least consider them and their emotional state. For me, the saddest part of all the gossip, criticism and demeaning judgment is the fact so much of it is coming from “Christians.” I am one. That is not how we are supposed to act. Stop it.

For what it’s worth, here’s my take on what might have transpired just before Whitney Houston exhaled her last breath:

She had been to a pre-Grammy party. There was drinking. She drank. Maybe she drank a bit too much and had a good buzz going on during the festivities. She sang, she danced, and yes, her hair was disheveled and she sweated. Anybody been to a party where there was dancing and well, partying, and you didn’t mess your hair up or break a sweat? Come on, let’s get real here. She was human, she got sweaty and silly like the rest of us.

Then she left to return to her hotel room. The buzz was probably waning by that time. As was possibly her usual routine, she took nightly meds and went for a soak in the tub to clean off the sweat and wash her hair. The water was warm and soothing. She relaxed. The meds kicked in. Even though she was no longer feeling the lingering affect of the alcohol, it was still in her system. She fell asleep, slipped under the water and silently drowned.

Now her former bodyguard says they never left her alone in the bathroom for more than a couple of minutes, back in the day. (I love the way these people appear during such an emotionally taxing time—like roaches at night when a kitchen light is suddenly switched on). “Once a junky—always a junky?” There are such things as redemption and restoration. Cockeyed optimist? Perhaps. At any rate, there is a vast difference between smoking cocaine laced with marijuana, as she admitted she had done in the past, and being prescribed Xanax for anxiety, or perhaps to help her sleep. Reports say a family member was outside the door, that her aunt found her—dead. She slipped away from us like a wisp darting through the night, and perhaps that’s what she was. Maybe, like the title cut of her most recent album, she went away singing, “I Look To You,” and she just headed on Home to her Lord. I may be wrong. The Coroner will let us know in a few weeks. But, that’s my take on it.

Has anyone seen her medical records from the past 1-2 years? Was she being treated for a condition she felt best to hide from the public in an effort to protect herself from their cruel scrutiny? Do I come across as thinking I know a bit about such a scenario? Yeah, well, maybe that’s because I do. I am on multiple medications. They are not all heart meds, but they are all necessary and prescribed. Perhaps one or two are the same pills Whitney was prescribed. Have I ever had a couple of glasses of wine and taken my nightly prescriptions a little too soon behind the vino? Yes, I have. Did I intend to do myself harm? No, not at all. But once the medication kicked in, on top of a couple of glasses of chardonnay, I realized I had consumed them too closely together. It was an honest mistake, not an attempt at suicide, or a junky looking for a fix. I slept it off. Is that getting too real for you? Sorry, being real is how I roll.

Is there a lesson to be learned from the death of Whitney Houston? Probably numerous ones, but one of the primary lessons is that we just do not intake alcohol and prescribed drugs close together. If you know you have medications to take, allow several hours after you have had a drink or two, or just don’t have a drink at all.

So, I suggest to everyone, don’t jump to conclusions about the death of Whitney Houston. It’s usually easier to scrutinize the other guy or gal than to put ourselves under the microscope. Instead, let’s spend that time judging where we are in our own life, and fix us first. As for me, I will relish the fact that the last time The Voice was ever recorded, she was singing, “Jesus Loves Me. . .” and He does.

Rest in peace, sweet Whitney. 

    • Carolyn S. Hennecy says:

      Thank you, Jeanie. I wrote from my heart, and own experiences. Unfortunately, too many seem to be rushing to judge or criticize. One woman commented, “If you had two sons, one a drug addict and one a soldier, and both were killed, would you grieve the loss of one more than the other?” No matter the errors of her life, she left a legacy that may never be matched musically. And what a funeral! WOW!

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