The iconic Whitney Houston’s life ended on February 11, 2012. At 48 years of age, talent beyond comparison, and an undeniable beauty, one would think Ms. Houston’s world was one of bliss and privilege. It probably was at one time or another, but she also had her demons and struggles, as others do.
An untimely death like Whitney Houston’s rocks not only the music industry, but it also has impact on millions of adoring fans. The pain of suddenly losing someone so loved ripples far and wide. The sorrow… the shock… the disbelief… the feeling of how can this be happening… arising from the diva’s death, albeit magnified by her stardom, is completely normal for the circumstances and not unlike what regular folk experience.
Close family friends of mine also lost a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly this past week. They too are engulfed in sorrow… shock… disbelief… and the feeling of how can this be happening. The circle of family and friends touched by this husband and father’s death is miniscule in size when compared to that of Ms. Houston; however, the suffering and broken hearts of those left behind is comparable. Their lives have changed. And he will be forever missed.
Death, especially our own, isn’t something people like to talk about. Whether we talk about it in the open or not, the one thing that I am confident in guaranteeing is that each of us want to matter. We want to know that we are loved and that our life makes a difference here in this world. We want to know that people care about us when we are alive and after we die. We want to know that world was a better place because we were here.
The deaths of both Whitney Houston and my friend matter. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, unknown to me or to you or to Ms. Houston’s friends, also matter. It all matters. I matter. You matter. And people will care that we die when it happens.
Today, February 13th, would have been my mother’s birthday. Her life and her death mattered. She was an inspiration and gifted in her understanding of the Universe and how it applied to our daily living. As I honour and contemplate the meaning of her life today, and in honour of my friend and Whitney Houston, I will do my best to show people that I care. I will care today, tomorrow… and always.