Whitney Houston ~ Rest in Peace
All the world mourns Whitney Houston today. But I don’t think we mourn the loss of a “big star”. I think we mourn the loss of something that was great and genuine in our midst.
Part of the tragedy of Whitney Houston’s early death is that we could have easily imagined it working out so much differently. We could imagine her growing older, becoming a grandmother, and a laughing, wise and dignified grande dame to a next generation of talented singers and actresses with dreams as bright as Whitney was in life.
We’re in shock, not just because she was so young, but because it just seems all wrong somehow. As if she took a left turn and got utterly lost, unable to find her way back. And now she’s gone back to the very beginning, by reaching the very end, too soon for the rest of us to fathom.
I’m not so sure it’s anything other than that, although we could philosophize all day that her passing reflects the downside of the spotlight, a fall from grace, the perils of super-stardom… because, there is no doubt, Whitney was a superstar.
She was a bigger-than-life star simply because her gifts were powerful and so completely pure. No bells and whistles, no shock-value accessories, nothing but a voice that was heaven-sent and an ability to make each tone matter, each word touch ground or circle the sun, and the physical poise and beauty to carry it off. It is the rarest of individuals who reach that level of fame and adoration with no embellishment needed. She was not just another starlet ~ she was a class act, with talent as real as it comes.
I sometimes think that certain God-given gifts are born into souls too tender for this world. That very sensitivity allows them to share their gifts purely ~ as surely Whitney Houston did ~ but their humanity, their frailty, takes a beating. A wrong turn too many and in the end, there is mourning.
Rest in Peace, Whitney Houston. The world was a better place for your having been here.