Whitney Houstons Death

February 19, 2012 by staff 

Whitney Houstons Death, A funny thing happens to us all, along this journey called life — if we live long enough. We awaken one day to discover that we are no longer children; no longer innocent babes protected in the care of our parents. We come to realize that the weight of this world now rests upon our own shoulders; so we get jobs, we marry, we divorce, and we parent our own children. The life cycle is in continual motion, and we are all moving so fast.

But every once in a while we get a jolt of reality; a nudge from fate that says “pay attention: expiration date inevitable.” We lose someone iconic like Whitney Houston, and suddenly we are grudgingly reminded of the Latin maxim Tempus Fugit: time flies and it waits for no man.

Those of us who grew up as the so-called “X” generation (born 1964-1977) will forever remember Whitney as this tall, beautiful, songstress, with great hair, an infectious laugh, and a vibrant spirit, who burst on the scene in the mid 1980s, when we were in junior high or high school. So for us, to see her laid to rest at 48 years of age, with the cause of her death unknown, but a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol suspected, is surreal. It is mind numbing, and it is heartbreaking.

I was boarding a plane from Florida back to Washington yesterday, just as Whitney’s funeral had begun, and I landed just as it was ending. What struck me, through the fog of my own tears and emotion over the passing of this beautiful cocoa brown sister was how much of an impact she had on people from all walks of life: black, white, yellow, red, male, female, liberal, conservative, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish.

I saw and felt it all around me yesterday.

When I left Orlando, all of us were gathered around one TV set watching Kevin Costner speak, and there was not a dry around me. On the plane, we had in-flight TV service and everyone had it on their screens. We were talking, crying, sharing lessons to be learned, and shaking our heads in disbelief. When we landed at Dulles airport and walked off the plane, Whitney’s voice could be heard everywhere singing, “I Will Always Love You”, and then the casket was carried out the door of her home church by the pallbearers, and you could hear a pin drop in one of the world’s busiest airports. People stood silent, heads bowed, tears falling, deeply hurt because we all understood that one day, “there go I.” We all understood that one day, we will bury our loved ones, and we ourselves will be buried. It was one of the most sobering moments of my life, and that of those around me.

​ In that moment we all understood that life ends, no matter how we try to outrun and cheat death. Eventually death will win. But as Bishop TD Jakes reminded us on Saturday in his remarks at Whitney’s funeral: “it only looks like death has won. Love is stronger than death.”

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