Remembering Whitney is Natural

Remembering Whitney is Natural

So save us the self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude.

After the death of Whitney Houston, all over Facebook there was a rallying cry to stop celebrating the beloved singer and start celebrating some man in the military who died, or some firefighter, or someone who lost a limb, and so on. While I will wholeheartedly acknowledge that these people definitely deserve recognition for their achievements and sacrifices—as well as the fact that they opted to make these sacrifices and recognized the possible consequences—you cannot blame the average Joe for not knowing who these people are. How are we supposed to know that someone committed an act of heroism when all we are fed day in and day out is the various exploits of pop stars, and occasionally politicians?

Don’t be self-righteous and say you’re not going to wax and wane about Whitney Houston because she was no hero. When your favorite singer dies, I am sure that you will be beside yourself; what a lucky position to have, and how privileged and fortunate you must be in order to sniff that one celebrity’s death makes no difference whatsoever.

For all you know, Houston could have saved someone. There are performers who served our country. There are also performers who served in USO shows, or who even simply inspired people with their lives. I wonder if anyone ever heard “One Moment in Time” and decided not to kill him or herself? I wonder if anyone ever saw Whitney’s abuse at the hands of her husband and said, “That’s it. I am going to stop. And I hope that he stops, too,” or maybe even left an abusive partner because of it. We have no way of knowing.

But the overall response here is natural anyway. When someone dies, they are gone forever—and when it’s this young, it hurts even worse. It’s only natural to grieve someone that you feel like you know through her music, movies, and public life. I’ve also seen the same people who grieved over Heath Ledger claim that they won’t be doing so when it comes to Houston. Seriously? Why pick and choose? Any death is a time to mourn, whether it is soldier or teacher, celebrity or homeless person without a name. So stop being so flippant about loss and let people grieve. And by the way, that means to not judge people on how they grieve, either, so if it means listening to her music, dancing to her songs, or even blogging about her, it’s all valid.