The passing of Whitney Houston

“On and on the rain will say how fragile we are”

-Sting

Life is short.

Last Saturday evening, we were all abruptly reminded of this fact by the shocking and saddening passing of pop superstar Whitney Houston.  She was forty-eight years old.  Five years older than me.

I don’t profess to be a Whitney Houston fan.  I never owned any of her albums, never saw her in concert, nor did I ever tell anyone that I loved her music.  But I recognized her greatness.

I shed a tear when Michael Jackson passed.  I definitely got choked up when James Brown died.  Similarly, Whitney made an indelible mark on the music industry, her voice essentially untouchable.

Like so many other shooting stars, Whitney went from being on top of the world, a 28-time Grammy nominee, to being just another personality whose reality television antics left us all wondering what the hell happened.

Whitney’s passing reminded me of the recent relapse by Josh Hamilton whose continuing problems with alcohol abuse keep his name in the news.

It reminded me of Donnie Moore, former California Angels pitcher, who struggled with depression, ultimately taking his own life because he could never recover from giving up a late-inning home run to Dave Henderson, eliminating his team from the playoffs.

It reminded me of former Red Sox starting pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd who said he continuously used cocaine while pitching in Boston during the 1980s.

It reminded me of every athlete who ever used performance enhancing drugs to further their career.

It reminded me of anyone I’ve ever known or loved who’s had to face such demons.

It reminded me of how impossible it is to mimic even a single Whitney Houston note when humming one of her tunes.

It reminded me of how she was adored by so many.

It reminded me of why drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling are carefully moderated, taxed or illegal, and rightfully so.

It reminded me of the times I’ve used drugs recreationally or even carelessly.

It reminded me that addiction is not something to be messed with.

It reminded me that life is short… and fragile.

Again, I was no huge fan of Whitney, but I’m a big fan of life.

So in honor of her passing and all those who struggle with addiction, I leave you with this…

… and before you shed a tear, I leave you with this, to perhaps, at least temporarily, bring a smile.

39 thoughts on “The passing of Whitney Houston

  1. Pingback: The passing of Whitney Houston - BallHyped, Other Sports | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    Another icon that has passed away ….. way too soon ! Don Cornelius , Etta James , Gil Scott-Heron and now Whitney Houston ! In the sporting vein Angelo Dundee’s ‘passing’ is another sad sign of the times and how low the level of boxing has sank ! I saw pics of Ali and he looks but a stroke away from leaving this earth as well !

    I see Tiger’s …. weekend wasn’t that great ….. he missed so many short putts and the holes by a mile that I thought he must’ve been having flashbacks about Elin wailin’ on his #ss and all the ##’s holes he dipped his 9 iron in ! .

    tophatal ………….

  3. Great reflection on what these particular moments in time should have us all thinking upon…and actions we should be putting into practice if not already in place. Both videos left me smiling.

  4. Al…

    All great points. Fortunately for all of those you mentioned, and us as well, the revolution WAS televised.

    I watched all those Tiger-missed putts yesterday. He’s close but he’s not there yet. There was a time when he was nailing twenty-footers with regularity.

    He needs to get back to that point before Augusta if he wants to be serious about winning a major this year.

  5. SA….

    Glad you liked. Didn’t mean to get too heavy so figured I’d lighten things up a touch with that “Greatest Love of All” tribute.

    After all, isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

  6. WOW! Powerful stuff. A great read. Proud of you.

    It’s weird how we all found Whitney’s sudden death so disturbing & unsettling. Maybe its because it’s such a waste. Maybe because it scares us. Maybe because like with the others you mentioned her music made up the tapestry of our youthful memories.

    Lotsa maybes, just wanted to let you know one thing for sure: how much we appreciate yr posts & words. Just another thing I am very grateful for.

    M

    PS: was that movie clip from “Coming to America”? Did you see they have a new reality show based on that theme?! Crazy, huh? Maybe that has to be on yr new “reality show- no-football-to-watch” TV sked Mr- New-Flatscreen? :}

  7. Well said Chris…….It almost makes me proud to have been your college roommate…..Almost…haha!

    I remember those careless days as well.

  8. Aer…

    You know me. I’m not one to watch reality television. But I did at least watch an scene or two from her old ones with Bobby Brown.

    It was like watching a train wreck.

  9. M…

    Good call on the Coming to America scene. i raised you well, he he.

    You do know that both the old men in the crowd and the two guys on stage were also Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, right?

    Just checking.

    Where’s the spoon?

  10. Chris:

    What a nice tribute to Whitney.

    I’m glad you brought up the subject of Bobby Brown. Somehow, in some way, her death had something to do with the pain, suffering and addiction that he inflicted on her.

    Whitney had an amazing musical talent but couldn’t seem to shake her demons. As someone who’s been in an abusive relationship, I know how it chips away at your self esteem and sense of self, until you feel worthless.

    But only if you let them do it to you.

    It’s up to each of us to celebrate, rejoice and focus on the good things in our own lives and move forward.

    Getting high on any substances, whether prescribed, performance enhancing, legal or recreational too often just isn’t good for you.

    Just say “no”, dammit!

  11. Here’s the thing, Val.

    Bobby Brown is likely going to go down as the fall guy for this but at what point do we assign Whitney responsibility?

    I’m no fan of Bobby either (and that’s my prerogative) but Whitney was a grown woman. Wasn’t she at least partially responsible for her own actions?

  12. Chris,

    The Whitney rendition of the National Anthem was the one of the greatest of ALL TIME. Beautifully performed without crotch grabbing(Roseanne), wrong words(Aguillera), off beat and off tune(Tyler). At that time(1991), the country needed that in the face of Desert Storm. The only voice comparable to Whitney’s is Celine, and I don’t count Canadians with degenerate spouses.

    Nice write for a non-fan.

  13. Great article. I am constantly amazed at the intelligent, talented, blessed souls who seem to be as insecure as the rest of us mere mortals. Some of us struggle constantly with anxiety and issues of self worth, and some of the greatest talents, whether sports stars or in the entertainment world, suffer with the same demons. Such a waste of talent in so many cases. So true that life is short.

  14. Chris, you did such a nice job..On the night Whitney died, I immediately went to YouTube to find her singing the national anthem at the Superbowl…the very same video you attached. It gives me goose bumps to hear the national anthem, period, but tears flowing when sung well. This was such a great performance, in my opinion. I’m a hard rocker so I dont know this Kelly Clarkson who sang this year’s national anthem, but I was really impressed with her, too.

    And yes, I agree with you…she is partially responsible for her actions. Her husband Bobby is not all to blame. Much of what’s wrong with things today is the blame game and lack of responsibility. So super sad.

    On to happier thoughts…where’s the coverage of the Westminster Dog Show?? I selected best in group for two groups , along with two 2nd place and two 4th place finishes in tonight’s show. Westminster is 2nd on my bucket list, right behind Fenway Park, which I hope is fulfilled this year.
    DeeDee

  15. Chris

    I think Woods’ problems are now mental rather than physical ! Curiously though , I don’t believe that was his problem when he was “nailin” ‘ all of those chicks ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    .And now Lefty’s left him in his wake this could make for an interesting season on the PGA Tour don’t you think ? First major up just happens to be The Masters scheduled Apr 5th-8th at Augusta , Ga. Should be real fun !

    I hear Schiano , with him struggling to find a coach , he is now looking at several aspirants within the Lingerie League ? ‘nough said bring ‘em on ! If the Bucs’ make that team co-ed with the females showin’ some t#ts-n-##s then I’m now in as a fan as it’d be a marked improvement on last year statistically , competitively and in terms of fan attendance ( avg’d just over 56,000 per home game and under 1,000,000 attendees overall ) !

    tophatal ………..

  16. Great voice, not so great judgement.

    Sad ending to a not so sad life.

    A line from A Bronx Tale sums it up quite nicely….Wasted talent…In more ways than one.

  17. Chris, I’ve seen a lot of words dedicated to her in the last couple of days but yours still hits home the hardest. I had to “get back on” and co-sign on the other folks who have left their kind comments. Really great post here.

  18. Al….

    The Buccaneers sidelines has quickly become Rutgers south with a sprinkling of Butch Davis mixed in.

    And Tiger needs to get his butt back to the putting green.

  19. Chris

    Rutgers’ coaching staff would be an upgrade to what the Bucs had on the sidelines last season .

    On a side note Calhoun and the Huskies …..have the wheels on their bus fallen off that vehicle or what ? Jim Calhoun Is A Man Who Simply Lacks Integrity But Idiots Continue To Treat Him With Such Reverence !

    So Mayweather and Whitlock are now playing the “race card” concerning Jeremy Lin ? Oh my !

    So when all of these people saw Whitney Houston running around the Beverley Hills Hilton Hotel ” wringing wet ” ….. mid afternoon and then interrupted music mogul Clive Davis’ interview with several international journalists and a broadcast cable outlet no one thought there was anything wrong with the singer’s appearance and demeanor ? Her entourage enabled her ,….. let’s make one thing clear Bobby Brown was no saint but the fact that Houston was now involved with Ray-J (Brandy’s younger sibling) doesn’t exactly suggest that Whitney made an upgrade in terms of a relationship .

    It’s A Damn Business So Let The Caterwauling Begin ……….

    tophatal …………….

  20. Definitely a sad day for the whole world. Actually saw the video again when she sang the Star Spangled Banner… brought chills as she was closing the deal. Truly a remarkable individual that died at such a young age. Rest in peace Whitney.

  21. . I’ve been running to school programs and mommy
    errands, but squeezed time to read your most recent posts. I heard the news about “my” Gary Carter passing first -right here. And now I’m really going to cry myself to sleep. I was a Gary Carter fan when he was an Expos, then on to the Mets. Before I followed the family tradition of being a Red Sox fan, I rebelled by becoming a Mets fan and celebrated nicely with their WS win in 86. Heck, my mom wouldn’t talk to me for days after that WS.. I even have the 1986 WS pennant in my pennant collection, along with the 86 AL champ pennant for the Red Sox. When news broke about his brain cancer last year, I checked his site periodically…I’m a huge fan..Love “The Kid”… RIP, Gary Carter, I’m going to light a candle in his memory at our Relay For Life event..boo hoo :’( boo hoo
    Dee Dee

  22. D…

    I was never a big fan of Carter’s as I was on the other side of that ’86 Series.

    Carter was like a thorn in your side but, like my recent post on Bobby Hurley, if he pissed that many people off, he must have been doing something right on the field.

  23. Terrific article! Sports Chump » The passing of Whitney Houston seriously makes my day a bit nicer :D Keep on together with the awesome articles! Thanks, actually

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