At 2AM EST, my girlfriend Kesho from Iowa called and informed me that Whitney Houston, R&B music icon had died.  Alone and without any apparent foul play, Whitney Houston, whose voice gave us airwaves magic with songs like “I’ll Always Love You,”  “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “I’m Every Woman,” “How Will I Know,” and “The Greatest Love of All,” is no more. 

When angels fall from grace, we always want to know why?  What happened to WH?  When did her downward spiral begin?  Most of us will remember scratching our heads at her marriage to Bad Boy Bobby Brown.  Loved his music as a member of the The New Edition group and his solo venture in My Prerogative, but couldn’t figure out what Whitney saw in him.  Love is blind like that. Theirs was a tragic love affair played out very publicly (on reality TV) with Whitney wearing black eyes and seemingly in a constant drug-induced stupor.

In her 2002 book, Saving Our Last Nerve: The Black Woman’s Path to Mental Health, Dr. Marilyn Martin, M.D., M.P.H writes that “mentally healthy Black American women are comfortable experiencing the rewards of life.  They know how to enjoy the moments when things work out.”  We also have to hone “…the ability to tell the difference between what is and what is not under our control.”  Whitney didn’t have this book by her bedside.

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Orignally published in Insight News, 2/13/2012