When you love someone who has battled her very own demons of addiction, as I have and continue to do, the sudden and shocking death of a celebrity like Whitney Houston (or Amy Winehouse before her, or countless others before either of them) isn’t just sad in a “she had such talent” sort of way, but in a very real and alarming “there but for the grace” sort of way, too.
In the coming days, the internet — and blogs like this one, I’m sure — will be flooded with Whitney Houston remembrances. Some people will be reflecting on the woman they actually knew and cherished. Others will be paying tribute to a celebrity they especially appreciated, identified with, or maybe even “loved” in that odd way we sometimes find ourselves caring about well-known people safely beyond our reach.
And yet, for some of us, those of us who spend a fair amount of our lives juggling a deep love for an addict and the fear of addiction’s ultimate grasp, the remembrances are less about Whitney’s life, or even her death, and more about the (often purposely) unacknowledged frailty inhabiting our own homes.
May Whitney rest in peace, indeed, but may those of us who remain to fight addiction’s battle, or love those who do, find a measure of peace, as well.