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I’m still trying to wrap my head around what has happened to Bobbi Kristina Brown, and I’m hurting for her, for Bobby Brown, and for the entire Houston and Brown families right now. On Saturday afternoon, I was instantly paralyzed with horror when I glanced at my phone only to read a news alert that had just come through with “Bobbi Kristina Brown,” “bathtub” and “unconscious” all in the same headline. This can’t be real. This can’t be life.
I stepped away from my grocery cart, placed my hand over my heart and threw my head back in disbelief as I attempted to grasp the gravity of what I read. I refreshed my screen at least five times before I clicked on the TMZ link waiting there with details. It had to be a hoax or a case of mistaken identity. They couldn’t be right about this one. Not this time. Not like this. My husband, confused by my behavior and slightly alarmed by the panic he saw on my face, asked what was wrong. “It’s happening again,” was all I could manage to blurt out, while my eyes stayed locked on the bold headline flashing across my screen. Bobbi Kristina had been found unresponsive in a bathtub, just like her mother, music legend Whitney Houston was nearly three years ago to the day.
She can’t die; not like this. Bless her heart. I closed my eyes for a moment and said a short prayer for the Houston and Brown families right where I stood. My eyes begin to mist. The shock and the sadness that kept me frozen in that aisle, face deep in my phone, struggling to understand, was all-too familiar. It was like a giant Band-Aid was being ripped off my heart…again. I felt a connection and love for Houston and her music that even many of my closest friends don’t often understand. I will always remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on February 11, 2012 when I received the crushing news that she had passed away suddenly in the most tragic way imaginable. No, I’m not a silly, obsessive fan who was merely obsessed with her fame and her fabulousness. Rather, I am a fellow Jersey girl who grew up on Houston’s music. I used it to bond with my own mother as a child and I wrapped countless adolescent and adult memories—some painful, some beautiful—around the melodies, lyrics and magic of her music. She was a close friend my mother and I shared, even though neither of us had ever met her. When I lost my mother suddenly to breast cancer I was only nine, so I desperately needed to feel close to her again somehow. I used Houston’s music to take me back to the happiest moments we shared, and I still do to this day. Realizing that Houston was gone so suddenly felt like losing a family member. I know that many of you felt her loss in similar ways. Whitney’s legacy and her music touched the masses that way.
When Houston passed away, I felt such sadness for her, her family, and of course for Bobbi Kristina, who was her best friend, because I knew from personal experience that she was leaving her daughter to mourn her with more questions for God than anyone would have the answers to. As I mourned the incredible loss, I couldn’t stop thinking about the unimaginable pain Houston must have still been in to take such extreme amounts of drugs and medication just to put on a happy face for her loved ones, the industry and her fans. I remember wondering if she really ever truly understood just how deeply touching, and in some cases life-changing, her gift and her music really was for young women like me who spent their childhood believing we were the future, because she told us so, and our teenage and young adult years striving for that “One Moment In Time” she sang so remarkably and beautifully about. I don’t know if understanding or believing that could have saved Houston from that pain, but I believe she wouldn’t have wanted to see it passed on to her baby girl.
When Houston passed away I had one wish for Bobbi Kristina – to find a healthy road to travel down as she coped day-by-day with her incredible loss. I prayed that she wouldn’t let losing her mother be the very last defining moment in her life. I knew my mother would have wanted me to fight through the pain and keep moving; I believed that Houston would have wanted the same for her only child.
Despite her many questionable ups and downs in the tabloids, on TV and in the news headlines, I’ve genuinely never stopped rooting for Bobbi Kristina to be happy, healthy and to survive. I truly believe it’s the legacy her mother would have most wanted to leave behind for her—to learn from her mother’s mistakes and never repeat them.
Saturday’s tragedy cuts deep. Surely the Houston and Brown families don’t deserve the pain and suffering they are enduring as they sit at Bobbi Kristina’s bedside praying for a miracle.
Bobbi Kristina is fighting for her life right now; a life Houston deeply wanted her to have free of pain. I know we will all have our opinions about the Houstons and the Browns, but this is really not the time for making memes or jokes or posting rude and hateful comments. This is the time for prayer, positivity and love. May God be with the families in their time of need, and most importantly, with Bobbi Kristina.