A tribute written by Malati Marlene Shinazy
When I first heard Whitney Houston had died, I fleetingly thought, “Sad, another amazing talent has fallen to drugs.” I had no evidence to support that thought. I actually had no information at all.
Over the next 24 hours, however, my sadness deepened as I was deluged with non-stop broadcasts describing how her death impacted the music community, her family and fans … her vocal range and tonal purity and her struggle with drugs.
I decided to examine why I had such strong feelings over the death of a celebrity I didn’t even know.
Yes, “The Body Guard” is a favorite film. Yes, years ago I downloaded most of her music.
Somehow, though, I my feelings related to Whitney Houston, The Person. On the surface, our lives shared no semblance. She was a singularly talented artist, a recovering addict, and a celebrity.
One layer deeper however, on the level of Person, she resembled many of us. Her life was one of great capacity and noble challenges. She was resilient. She possessed unstoppable passion for her work and family.
We have lost a great talent – a younger member of our boomer generation. So, how does that relate to me? What have I gained from my exercise in contemplation?
Like Whitney Houston and many of us boomers, at all stages of the age spectrum, I see my life continuing to expand and deepen …Life is simultaneously more profound and joyous … serious and silly.
- The passion I have about my new business is more exhilarating than businesses I’ve launched in the past.
- My love is more than my heart opening. It is multi-dimensional and felt at my core of my being.
- My community service is not simply a cluster of activities I “do.” It is an integral part of me, who I “am.”
- My role as a mom, one I took seriously when my kids were young and actively needed me, has changed too. I truly feel privileged when my young-adults ask for counsel or share a confidence.
Whitney Houston’s life gave me moments of song and tidbits of celebrity gossip. In my contemplation of how I felt about her passing, I realized how wonderful it is to be fully engaged in life …
Laughing, Crying, Loving and Sharing Wisdom with each other
Plus, I have this assignment to write stories for WISDOM WEDNESDAY – a forum for voicing all sorts of perception and insight. It provides me an opportunity to continue to grow and learn from people everywhere – from folks of any age, culture, or rank in life. Now how cool is that? I get to be both sage and student.
Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012)
Singer, Actress, Mom and Person
photo by Nathan B