Sunday, February 12, 2012

Goodbye Whitney Houston: The Day The Music Died


I spent hours crying this morning after I heard the news.
"Goodbye...goodbye Whitney Houston!" I said, sobbing in my parked car. Now, let me make it clear that I am no 'fan girl' and not that easily moved by news of the demise of the rich and famous celebrities. I did not cry when Michael Jackson died, nor did I stop and ponder upon his addiction, his tragedy or his death. But, Whitney? Whitney is a whole different ballgame.

Whitney Houston- May She Rest in Peace
I grew up listening to Whitney, like I had been listening to Michael. But Whitney was the epitome of strength. Whitney was the woman I wanted to grow up to become. Whitney was beauty and elegance. Whitney was romance and the love I wished to have. Whitney was an embodiment of talent I could only dream of having. Whitney sang the soundtrack to my first love story. Whitney's voice carried me through and through, times and times again.  Whitney wasn't just a celebrity to me, fallible and flawed. Whitney was "every woman." She embodied everything a woman should be. Everything I ever wanted to be.

And herein lies the tragedy. I thought that Whitney, being accomplished, successful and beautiful and all, was happy. To find out that she was on drug was the ultimate shock to me, like a child thinking their parent had it all together only to find out that this is far from true. And to find out that she died, I was crushed with sadness. This came at a time where I was weighed down with dreary philosophical wonderings of the soul, and revisited existential  dilemmas; the sort of thing that can happen often with many dead and dying all around me on the streets of Cairo.

Then, her sweet voice came back to me. "If I should die this very day, don't cry because on this earth we weren't meant to stay." And I cried some more.

This is precisely our conundrum, we aren't staying. None of us are. But we all act like we are, and because of that, the void consumes us all. We think that if  only we were prettier, if only were thinner, if only we had more money or fame or lovers, we would finally be happy...finally be free.

But the sad truth of it is—none of it matters. 

So many people had it all, and yet had nothing. We keep seeing that time and time again, but are we ready to wake up?

Maybe we should be less concerned with how much we have and how good we look and even how happy we are because , indeed, "on Earth we weren't meant to stay."  And our end may be sooner than we think. After all, she was only 48.

Whitney you will be missed, and you will sure never be forgotten. Between "I wanna dance with somebody" and "My love is Your Love", Whitney, you were indeed every woman.

May you rest in peace.

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