I came home today to find that Amy…

I came home today to find that Amy Winehouse was dead. Don’t know what came over me but I can best explain it as the saddest I’ve felt when somebody I didn’t know died. I’ve been thinking: Why?

I didn’t know Amy personally. I’ve heard she was a uniquely talented musician, one of those that only comes once in a lifetime. But I honestly only heard a couple of her songs ever.

Her story, however, was being splashed all over the news, the Internet, the blogsphere, the quiet conversations in pubs and school cafeterias. Her father said if she didn’t get help she would die. Her publicist kept trying to find excuses for another show she had to cancel. She forgot the lyrics, was booed on stage, kept sniffing out of a tiny container, etc., etc. Amy became a public figure not for her talent but for her perils.

Now I know that many other people with the same struggles die quietly and nobody cares. I know that celebrities grab the spotlight and the media makes them news when the real news is the regular guy who has to work every day for a boss who exploits him or her.

But for me Amy is different. I was not around when Elvis Presley, James Dean, JImmy Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, and others like them died. But the suddenness of their death WAS the news. This was the case even with Michael Jackson. Amy, on the other hand, died a slow and agonizing death in front of our eyes. She died on a stage in Dubai. She died in the many rehab houses she went to. She died in the evening news. She died in our imagination and in our hearts. She died so predictably and methodically we will have a hard time remembering she even was.

And that is why I was saddened when I heard about Amy’s death today.

How can anyone succeed in dying when the whole world knew she was headed that way? Does the thought that Amy’s untimely death could have been avoided bother you? And what is this force that takes over people who are otherwise intelligent and drives them over the edge? And what is so pernicious about drug addiction that leaves so many stranded on a “no exit” alley?

I hope you take a good look around you and find out if there are people in your life who have been hit by this virulent force that is ready to swallow them up without mercy. If you can find one and offer your hand to lead them in the opposite direction, with God’s help, you will have wrought a miracle.

As for Amy, I will never forget her.

Ivanildo C. Trindade