Another famous death…

Hearing of Whitney Houston‘s death reminds us once again of the tragic side of fame and fortune.  She was a woman with such incredible and amazing talent, it was so heartbreaking over the years to see her waste it all away by getting caught up in the wild world of drugs, alcohol, excess, etc.  Some may brush it away as just another Hollywood celebrity gone bad, maybe even “reaping what she sowed”.

I think that those who have experienced deep grief can view it from a different perspective.  When you peel away the layers of glitz and glamour, take away all the photographers and news hounds and adoring fans, all that’s left are the grieving family and close friends, sitting around the kitchen table just like the rest of us wondering what else they could have or should have done to try to help her so she would still be here today.  They will face all the same questions and fears and heart wrenching pain.  Her mother will suffer what no parent ever wants to know- losing a child.  Her daughter will forge into her young adulthood and beyond without a mother.  Friends will gather and feel the emptiness around them.  And they will do it all under the scrutiny of the judging and hungry public eye.

When someone famous dies, we often feel a reaction- sad, upset- we may even cry and grieve the loss.  It happens all the time with these Hollywood icons.  And when you step back it all seems so strange.  I mean, we don’t even know them.  Never met them, don’t really know anything about them- the person you see is not even who he or she really is.  Why do we even care?

There are a lot of theories behind this.  I believe for one that we are all connected in some way and when you hear of someone’s death, something deep inside is touched by that.  A bigger reason though is that it calls forward associations with our own losses and sparks a reaction.  We know what those around that person are going through and we empathize.

Like it or not, we are “feeling”creatures.  We actually spend a good deal of our lives trying not to “feel” things.  I believe the saying is “That’s what separates man from the beasts”.  Feeling things can be hard but remember that without it, we wouldn’t get to have the wonderful things either, like happiness when we are with the ones we love…or joy from a beautiful song sung by a amazingly talented woman.

I leave you with this beautiful and moving tribute to Whitney…

(sorry for the obnoxious ad prior)

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