Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You

I’m devastated. I’m utterly speechless and full of words at the same time. I want to yell to the world, “No! This can’t be!” I want to question God’s choice. I want to just wither into a ball on my bed and cry. I want to wake up from this horrific nightmare.

“Whitney Houston is dead at 48,” the headlines read.

My mouth dropped open when I read the first Facebook status that simply read, “RIP Whitney Houston <3,” and immediately the tears filled my eyes, blurring my back-lit screen. I blinked, wondering if I should be this upset about a singer’s death and then I began not to care. Only I know how Whitney Houston has affected my life.

It started out with the song “I Will Always Love You,” a remake of Dolly Pardon’s song. Whitney blew it out of the water, comparatively. I heard it as a child after my four-person family watched The Bodyguard, starring Whitney and Kevin Costner, and I think it was the first time I felt goosebumps rise on my body. It was the first time I heard heaven sing and it was the first time I spoke out of having a favorite singer. I declared that song my favorite from the beginning of The Bodyguard era. The word “era” is the right word here, too. And with the word era, comes the word legend. Whitney Houston is a legend. I fell in love with that song, and declared I will always love it.

After letting myself sob in sadness, disbelief, and loss, I turned on CNN and heard, “She’s confirmed dead at 3:55 PM…” and “They got a 911 call to the police department at 3:20…,” and “That person never regained consciousness…” “That person” was my idol. Who is a child’s celebrity idol? It’s a singer. Always. Some now idolize Justin Bieber and Britney Spears, whom are both great artists, but Whitney Houston was the best. I give myself props for falling in love with her songs and her voice at such a young age.

She was an inspiration and I’m struggling.

I’ve never met Whitney Houston. I’ve never followed her close enough to be able to drop dates of concerts and song debuts. Yet, every time I push play on my CD player in my room, it always houses Whitney Houston’s soundtrack to The Bodyguard. And it’s always turned up too loud. My neighbors probably hate me. But I blare it most mornings while showering and getting ready for the day. She’s been a part of my routine for years. I belt out my lack-luster notes and sing those lyrics that have given me strength and meaning. Her words at one point or another have kept me going and reaching for my dreams. She sang feminine power songs like “I’m Everyone Woman” and let me dance around, fist-punching the air to “I Want to Dance with Somebody,” and brings new meaning to the childhood Sunday School song, “Jesus Love Me“.

So now I push play like many days before and her voice bounces off my walls and into my broken heart. My broken heart cries for her lost life and her family, friends, and millions of fans who’ve lost the best voice of all time. I found this quote that sums up the legacy of Whitney Houston:

“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”

She obviously has found life’s purpose and has successfully fulfilled it. So Rest in Peace, Whitney Houston. God now holds one of the best talents in the world. ❀

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