Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse
Sing to Me This Morning
“Bittersweet memories, that is all I’m taking with me . . .” Whitney Houston’s voice filled the car as I drove to the store this morning. I’ve been so judgmental of Whitney Houston and didn’t mourn a moment when she died earlier this year. All I could think of was the wasted life, the wasted talent, the wasted opportunities. All that judgment fell away as I listened to her sublime voice. I realized in a heartbeat that such an expressive voice can only come from having experienced deep loss, deep pain. And I began to forgive and to see her experience that pain, because I’ve experienced deep loss and pain in my life as well.
I put the car windows up and increased the volume until Whitney and her voice were the only presence in the car. I allowed myself to feel what she felt, to wish love to those who I have left and who have left me, to know that I would always love them.
Those few minutes in the car opened my heart to the reality of so many lives, that we all suffer, but we suffer in different ways. We all blow it and waste so much, but in different ways. To be fully human, I need to recognize that reality in everyone, the rich and famous and talented, too.
It’s probably no accident of the cosmos that the next song was by Amy Winehouse and that I found some compassion for her as well.
As I drove home, I recalled Amy Lee of Evanescence. Because Amy’s family once lived across the street from us, I am one of the few who know that Amy’s sister died at age four. Amy’s expressive voice carries that anguish in many respects and I hear it and feel compassion for her, for anyone who suffers.
We all will have great moments of joy in life, but we also will have great moments of loss and suffering. Looking beyond the glitz, the glamour, the wealth, and all the trappings of fame, I was able to see the human aspect of Whitney, Amy, and Amy during my morning drive, because there are people in my life that I, too, will “think of every step of the way.”