I can still remember the first time I heard “I Will Always Love You” on the radio. It was a revelation. It took my breath away and I waited patiently for each time it would air so I could learn the words and sing along.
It had been a similar love affair with “The Greatest Love of All” when I was even younger.
Whitney Houston was my hero. In her I saw manifest all the possibilities my parents promised me. “You can be and do anything, Jaime,” they used to tell me. And when I saw women like Whitney I knew it had to be true.
And that is why last night, and today, my heart grieves…
How tragic it is when even our greatest heroes fall.
In Whitney I saw the greatness I could aspire to, and now I also see that such greatness can purchase its own price: namely the grief we experience when that greatness goes unlived, or falls, or is stolen from us.
In Whitney’s case, addiction stole her greatness. But we must ask ourselves, what drew her to the addiction? What abyss within her couldn’t be filled? What grief was she attempting to numb?
I can’t answer these questions for this Queen of Pop and we all know that life in the spotlight must be dramatically challenging… but these tears I shed for Whitney have all these questions swimming in my head and heart. And they raise some interesting questions for you and me too…