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Home > Fran’s Editorial > The shock is not being shocked…

We’ve all had those moments when unexpected bad news reaches us and we’re shocked, genuinely and unequivocally.  There’s panic, disbelief, sadness and anger – in a very short space of time you go through a myriad of emotions as you try to digest the news.  But what about when you’re not shocked.

The breaking news late Saturday night was that Ms Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room, no other details other than she was due to attend a Grammy’s pre party.  I came across the story by that cutting edge news breaking site, Facebook.  A friend had updated her status to reflect the report and almost immediately I exclaimed to the friend I was with “Whitney Houston’s died” to which my friend said “Oh… sad.”

Then began our discussion with the recurring theme “I’m kind of not shocked though.”  This has been the reaction of most people I know or have spoken to about it, but why? Was it because of the ‘problems’ Ms Houston had been wrestling with for many years?  Because her last tour was slammed and she was constantly seen looking dishevelled and really quite unwell? Yes and yes.

It was a similar situation when Amy Winehouse passed away, there was so much anger about the reaction to her death and mainly due to her lifestyle.  There was barely any shock that a young woman in her 20’s with a remarkable talent had slipped away – it was ‘expected.’

Isn’t that a sad thought, that we’re actually almost waiting for what is then the inevitable to happen.  There’s no hope, no glimmer of a positive outcome.

The jokes have already started (does someone sit around waiting for tragedy to write these?!) the rants about ‘what did she expect…’ the comments that ‘hundreds of people die every day but no one talks about them.’ This is actually one comment that irritates me, possibly more than the latter, because those who make these comments don’t tend to mention the hundreds who die every day, any other day of the year, it is saved for when a high profile case comes to light.

In spite of Ms Houston’s misdemeanours (if that’s what they were) she was still a person, it is still a life lost; a parent who has lost their child, a daughter who is now without a mother.  And who are we to judge someone we don’t even know.

I AM a Whitney Houston fan, not a die-hard fan (excuse the terminology) but I enjoy her music.  What a voice; undisputedly one of the best female vocal artists of our time.  The iconic ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ cannot fail to get me up on the dance floor; it’s the perfect pop song.   Catchy tune, up-beat tempo, simple and relevant words for a dance floor hit and sung by a woman whose voice is flawless and completely effortless.

Ms Houston’s talent was unarguable; the music industry has lost another one of its greats.  Whatever transpires about her last few hours will never overshadow the musician she was and the contribution she has made to music history.


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