Why I’m Torn About Whitney Houston’s Funeral Being Broadcast
It has been less than a week since Whitney Houston unexpectedly passed away in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, and ever since that day, it has been a frenzy. A wealth of media coverage, Internet trolls talking crazy about the singer for attention, interviews done with people who claimed to know her best and other interviews done by people who act like they know her but didn’t (sit down Dr. Drew). On top of that though, there has been a great outpouring of love for Whitney–for what she did in the past, a grief over what she could have done in the future, and just for the wonderful person she seemed to be, no matter what her trials were.
Everyday on the local news here in NYC, they show a crowd of people outside the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, signing cards, playing her music, leaving flowers and notes to commemorate the life of the Jersey-born songstress they idolized. They’ve been there since news broke of Houston’s death, and they keep coming back, more and more people. So when news broke earlier in the week that the family would not be holding Houston’s funeral at the massive Prudential Center where her face is currently emblazoned outside, some were mad, and some were sad, but understood the fact that the family didn’t want a huge “parade” as Pastor Marvin L. Winans called it.
But only a few days later, it was announced that to help Whitney’s fans get the closure they need, the funeral on Saturday would be streamed online, and could possibly even be available on television. As a fan, I can appreciate that the family would want to let the people, folks all over the world who loved her, share in the celebration of Whitney’s life. In Jersey, she was obviously a major figure, what with schools named after her and the fact that she used to rep Newark like no other. The sadness you hear in the voices and see in the eyes of those who wait outside the church (NOT those who peddle memorabilia outside of it…smh) is real, and they’re mourning too. I respect that the family recognizes how much Whitney loved her fans and how much they loved her back and want to share her in the end.
But I’d also like to say, as someone who lost someone very close to me unexpectedly as a young adult, I’m also a bit worried for Bobbi Kristina. Funerals in general are heart wrenching, but there’s something about a funeral for a sudden loss that occurs soon after that loss that are even more emotional. You never truly know how you will act on that day and during that ceremony until you step in the church and the reality of your loss sinks in. And when you’re younger and not used to such hits, it can be more difficult to hold it together. So while you might go in there with the hopes of holding it together, you never know how you’ll feel until it hits you. I was one year younger than Bobbi Kristina (she’s 18 now) when one of my siblings unexpectedly passed away. During the funeral, I think I held it together pretty well in front of the hundreds of friends and our family. However, I totally fell apart when they closed the casket. I yelped and literally could have fallen out right there in the funeral home. Emotions like that, which I’m thinking Bobbi might have seeing as she and her mother were more like sisters, in my mind, doesn’t really need to be seen or critiqued by the whole world, including the folks at CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others.
I just think the grief of the family and those close to Whitney should remain amongst them. If Bobbi Kristina is all for it, then let it go on, but during it or when it’s all over, I’d rather not have the news or anyone else analyze, do a play by play, or make a mockery of how these people say their last goodbyes and how they pay their respects, because they’ve found every way possible to analyze how Whitney spent her last days (from analyzing old scratches on her to making accusations because her hair was messed up…smh again). Whether the family grieves quietly, or they find themselves rolling around on the floor in an inconsolable state, it happens, and if it does, that should be for them only if you ask me. But that’s just my opinion and something that was on my heart that I needed to say…
Photos courtesy of Topnews.in and People.com.
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