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FEBRUARY 19, 2012 3:03AM

Whitney! Whitney! Whitney!

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Today a billion broken hearts said goodby to one of the world’s most glorious creatures. Piaf, Garland, et. al. in one breathtaking package and more. A billion broken hearts.

Sadly she was also one of the most savaged. Seeing the way the fans and paparazzi descended on her while coming out of a night club disgusted me. What a way to have to live. What cost the bodyguards? The fans’ and paparazzi’s talons ready to take out a chunk of meat and a dozen camera phones tweeting every move. The world: IN YOUR FACE! Suddenly coming out of a nightclub sweating is suspect. Go figure. My stomach churned. And it will churn again for months in the check-out line tabloid covers:

Whitney! Whitney! Whitney!

While smearing our faces with images and innuendos unfit for the walls of public toilets. Oh! get ready for the avalanche of salacious scum-sucking gossip. Even in death some vulture there with a camera phone ready to make a deal on your cadaver. What a way to live and die. What a world.

Her funeral was magnificent. What class. What a send-off. What a family. But of course, what else? Whitney Houston was a class act–at least my book and no matter what anyone says. They did it with class. They did her good. Carried her shoulder high into immorality. It was magnificent to see. I am thankful the family shared it with us so intimately. That too was a gift.

A gift to all the broken hearts. So many broken hearts. The nation and the world suffer a great loss. I can feel pall. It is real. Who would think there could be so many broken hearts.

Yet the world also celebrates a gift that was perhaps better than we deserved. How many people have been so loved and admired? As long as humanity exists on this choking planet she will always be immortal. That can never be taken.

I must confess to schadenfreude on being informed her ex husband (no doubt one of the most despised men in America right now) ‘did not stay for the services and was not allowed to see his daughter.’ From what I gather no one mistakes him for a class act. He was reportedly asked to relinquish his seat three times and then left. No one can doubt the strength of African-American family values. It was moving to see the pride and dignity.

But there are times I almost regret not believing in Hell and punishment after death. As for rewards ... well, I’m of the same mind as Huck Finn and all we get is what we have. That’s all I know.

Her family and friends did her well.


Oh what glory R. Kelly! If ever there was a balm in Gilead! One of the most powerful performances I have seen in my life. What glorious creatures mankind can be. What glorious beings we are lucky to have.

And oh! a billion broken hearts.

Only death is certain. The time of death is unknown. How then shall we live now? Live well. It’s a mistake not to.

As for all the rest I will refuse to do business with any entity that I feel disrespects her memory and I will ask my supermarket to please not shove trash in my face or I’ll take my business elsewhere.

Live well. It's a mistake not to. And do not trash your gifts.

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r. kelley, whitney houston

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[r] you continue the ripples of passion and class of Whitney and her loving network. i deliberately did not attend the broadcasted funeral except while channel surfing I paused to hear Costner's comments at one point and was touched. Now I am sorry I did not watch it. This tribute of yours so very nicely done! i was such a fan of her cousin, Dionne Warwick, too. What gifts to us, you are right, these extraordinarily gifted ones are! And schadenfreude sure sucks! Right about that, too. What a life with the paparrazi sharks ever-circling. Ugh. libby