I was in college at a gas station when I heard the news that Tupac Shakur had died. I was sad, but not shocked.

I was at work when word spread about the death of Michael Jackson. We all thought it was a cruel joke and remained glued to our computers and TV’s as the truth unfolded. I was shocked, sad and speechless.

I was on my way to begin date night with my husband when I saw the news on Twitter about the death of Whitney Houston. Again, I just KNEW it was a cruel joke. I clicked around until I saw a story on TMZ and lost my breath. Then, I turned on the radio. Their playlist included nothing but Whitney and that was my final confirmation. At that moment, I seriously fought back tears.

Never before had I had that reaction to the passing of a celebrity. I’m not sure I ever will again. For me, she wasn’t just any celebrity. Not by any means. Her star rose at a time in my life when I really needed confirmation. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. That reassurance came when I was nine-years old. Being a super tall, super thin nine-year old in the 80’s wasn’t easy. It’s during that time when kids can be and are cruel. (I can’t believe I’m crying as I type this.) Looking different was all the ammunition people needed to make sure I didn’t have much self confidence. Enter this regal beauty. This tall, skinny chocolate woman who everyone seemed to adore. To make things even better, she never hid her relationship with God. She was a church girl, like me! She became a role model for me.

Over the years I had determined that when I grew up I would be just like her. I would be a model, then a singer. I would be graceful and poised. I would carry myself with such confidence that teases and taunts wouldn’t get to me. As I grew to become a young woman and her life began to be fodder for tabloids, I held on to the Whitney that I knew. The Whitney that I connected with all those years ago. I just knew that she would return to her former splendor. I held on all the way up until February 11, 2012.

I have not achieved her success as a model or a singer. It’s not even a goal anymore. What I do hope to carry on from her is the ability to inspire and encourage other young girls. I hope I am able to show them that they are beautiful, strong and worthy of every gift God has blessed them with.

I leave you with one of my ALL time favorite Whitney performances. When I first saw it, I recorded it and I’m not sure I could tell you how many times I played it back until I learned every word and every note. As a little girl, I had hoped to meet her and tell her how she’d inspired me. As a grown woman, I pray that she rests in His peace. God, help her daughter, mother and loved ones.

Bonus – Purely Gifted:


32 comments on “Farewell Seems the Best Word”

  1. I heard it at first on twitter I was like twitter killing people again. I still did not believe it until I saw cnn say it then I got emotional she was and will always be my favorite singer. I spent the entire night listening to all her cds because I have every single one. Now I need to find her movies.
    kita recently posted…RIP Whitney HoustonMy Profile

  2. She was truly an inspiration to us all. The voice of hers was so wonderful, I remember growing up, and practicing my vocal cords to try and do what she did (of course never really came close).

    It’s hard listening to her songs now, but when I do hear them, I can still feel the soul behind the words. RIP Whitney.
    KalleyC recently posted…“Cracked Up”My Profile

  3. I am so saddened by this. I mean there will never be another her. I think the part that hurts so much is that the way in which she died. She had so many more years and to be taken away from us like that. I don’t know. My feelings are so jumbled. She reminds me of my mother and Saturday mornings in our house cleaning blasting her music. Its just sad.

  4. To say that I was in SHOCK when my friend sent me a text saying, “Whitney Houston has died” is the understatement of the year. My reply? “Stop lying.” Then I took to FB, Twitter, and Google to make sure his text was some sort of a sick joke.

    It wasn’t.

    I couldn’t belive it. I’m still in shock. I can’t fully put my finger on it (not yet anyway), but I am so saddened by this. That night, I logged off FB and didn’t go back on it. I didn’t watch the Grammy’s. I shut down. And I’m still processing this. It makes me so so sad. And I keep thinking of Bobbi Kristina. I just don’t even have the words to put together to comment on this post…
    Alicia @MommyDelicious recently posted…The Beauty of Embracing Who You AreMy Profile

    • That’s it exactly, Alicia. I shut down. Once I heard I knew FB was not the place for me. I looked at Twitter and saw Questlove had tweeted something like “I can’t take this” and I turned it off. Literally. Turned the damn phone OFF. I sat at my dining room table like a family member had died and just listened to her music the rest of the night. I still can’t fully process; sometimes I still want them to say ha ha, fooled ya!
      Arnebya recently posted…I Didn’t Know Her, But She Spoke to MeMy Profile

  5. I can’t and won’t focus on those addiction years many seem to want to harp on. Her voice, her music, got me through some things. Typical teenage things (and later, adult things), but meaningful moments in my life nonetheless. I’m with you in that I’ve felt bad when celebrities have died before. But I have never FELT like this. My mother cried when Minnie Ripperton died and I will never forget wondering how someone she didn’t know could have impacted/affected her that way. I’m sad to say that now I do.
    Arnebya recently posted…I Didn’t Know Her, But She Spoke to MeMy Profile

  6. She did make all women feel incredible and acceptable in their feelings, good, bad. Incredible talent to make one feel that with her voice and the lyrics she conveyed.

    Your post touched me when you said how felt insecure. We all go through that at some point and it’s great that she spoke to you. We should all have an AHA moment like that in our lives.

    Great post!
    Dora recently posted…Out of darkness thanks to a Diva: Mama Kat’s world famous writer’s workshopMy Profile

  7. I couldn’t believe it when my sister called and told me that Whitney has passed. They’re forever starting rumors on Twitter and trying to kill off celebs that way. So, I thought it was a joke until I flipped on the news and there it was. It’s just sad that we’ve lost yet another great person who was getting their life on track and had so much to live for still.
    YUMMommy recently posted…Comfort In GoodbyeMy Profile

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