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Whitney Houston: The Greatest Loss of All
By Dr. Jane Greer
Even though we watched Whitney Houston deal with her personal struggles over the years which included an unhealthy, abusive marriage to Bobby Brown and alcohol and drug addiction, the news of her death this week was shocking to many of us. It has been reported that her longtime bodyguard found her unconscious body submerged in the bathtub in her hotel room in Beverly Hills shortly before she was supposed to perform at a pre-Grammy party held by her mentor Clive Davis. Perhaps, despite the fact that it was brewing for some time, we didn’t see it coming because she had endured so much, soldiered on through so much adversity already, and was moving toward a comeback, so we had attributed a certain invincibility to her.
Despite all that we know or don’t know about her difficult situation, it is hard to imagine that the woman who was so bright, beautiful, and mesmerizing met such a harsh end. Celebrities really have two sides to them: one professional and one personal. Whatever Whitney couldn’t achieve on the personal side she surpassed on the professional level. So even though we have watched her career unravel and her health decline, when most people think of her they see her in their minds in top shape – in The Bodyguard or singing I Will Always Love You. It is that colossal talent and voice that many associate with her, not her personal fight for happiness, and it is exactly that which those who don’t know her mourn.
It is hard not to wonder if the pressures of the entertainment industry contributed to her early death at the age of 48. We have certainly seen it happen many times before. With such a big talent comes a lot of responsibility to everyone around. Sometimes that weight becomes too much to bear. As a result, many people in that position reach out for help to be able to carry the burden and continue to give the public what they want. Too often the support they seek is immediate relief which comes in the form of drugs or alcohol. In addition, many celebrities are able to bypass the roadblocks that other people might encounter because they have financial resources, and surround themselves with people who want to please them and find it hard to say no. Therefore, they are able to run the red lights that might stop others.
Whitney’s famous song The Greatest Love of All is about loving yourself and giving everything you have. She raised the bar for so many other singers and for herself as well. But when you were Whitney Houston you were always looking up to a level that was sometimes too hard to hold on to. She was working to be her finest with the comeback she was moving toward. Sadly, she was not able to take it all the way. She was trying to be her best, but really, in the end, she had already given us her best. Her greatest gift of all is that her voice lives on.
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See Dr. Greer’s article on GalTime.
Posted February 18, 2012 in GalTime