This week’s news about Amy Winehouse hit me hard. I didn’t know this songbird personally, but I've been a huge fan ever since I heard "Frank", her brilliant, eclectic debut CD. I couldn't believe this big, honest, soulful sound was coming out of this tiny girl from London - who looked nothing like me:)
Over the years, I've remained a fan. I cheered in 2008 when she swept the Grammys and showed 'em she was the real deal. And yes, like the rest of the world, I grooved and sang "No, No, No" when she belted out her personal story on 'Rehab'. I watched on pins & needles with other fans as she struggled with her addiction too. And like so many others, I was hopeful that she would conquer her demons. She didn't.... Damn.
My heart goes out to the Winehouse family. Her mom and dad buried their 27-year-old daughter this week. How sad is that? I didn't know Amy, but unfortunately I know her story all too well. I guess you could say she and I had a connection.... Maybe that's why I was so troubled by her death.
Addiction is real in my family and I hate it. I've seen too many loved ones fight this battle, give up, try again, recover, keep trying, etc. Some have been successful and others are still struggling.
I don't always understand it, but it's not my place (or anyone's place) to judge them. Addiction is a sickness; an illness that should be treated and viewed as such. No one in their right mind would ever laugh or be insensitive about someone who died as a result of cancer, so why do it when someone dies from the result of drug abuse?
Addiction is not a joke. It's not funny. Trust me, it ain't pretty. For those who have experienced it or who have loved ones in the midst of the storm, we know it's painful. For those of you who haven't experienced it, be thankful.
For me, Amy's death was a reminder of the thousands of people who are struggling with addiction, and the families & friends who love them despite of it. It reminded me that
people are human and sometimes they don't always make the best decisions. It doesn't mean they're stupid or crazy. They're just human.
So, to those who stand in judgement of Amy and others, I encourage you to keep on living. Give it some time. Let life throw some stuff at you that you didn't expect. Let life knock you down. And when it does (and it will), remember Amy Winehouse. Think about the jokes you shared, the heartless comments about her death and your lack of compassion. Remember her.
Her music, her talent, and her life were gifts. Her contributions to this world were plentiful and powerful. She was only here a short time, but her memory (that voice!) and her influence will live on and on... R.I.P. Amy. Damn.