“Whitney: Let me be your friend!”

Whitney, let me be your friend. I know you have many friends who are willing to worship the ground you walk on and where you go people are lining up to adorn your path with fresh rose petals. But I want to be your friend so I can warn you not to believe everything your friends tell you. You need a friend who can save you from your “friends.”

I would tell you that the meaning of life is not wrapped up on a successful career, a husband, a daughter or the expectation to excel beyond your dreams. I would tell you to forget all the dreams you had and focus on getting healthy.

I would have gone to your doctors and warned them that they were making it easy for you to lose control.

I would write letters to people around the world and bug them to call, e-mail, twitter, Skype, go to the streets and show you that your value is in the person you are not in the person the world wants you to be.

I would not leave your sight when I knew you were vulnerable. I would remind you of your youth when you believed that your voice was a gift from God and you promised God that you would always use your voice for His glory.

I would make sure you surrounded yourself with people who were strong and were willing to love you with unconditional and sacrificial love. And I would ban everyone else from your sight.

I would do all I could to convince you that you had no one else to blame but yourself. I would beg you to seek help from professionals who could care for your body and soul. I would pray for you until my knees could no longer bear the cold slab of my wooden floor. I would cry out to God for your well-being until I felt that He had heard me.

I would not have left you to tend for yourself when you were self-destructing.

I would remind you that when I watched the movie “The Preacher’s Wife,” I thought you were the angel and not Denzel. I would tell you that when I heard you sing the National Anthem in 1991 I thought I had witnessed the most magical musical five minutes of music anyone had ever produced. And I would tell you that it was obvious that all the people in the stadium clearly understood that they were hearing something so good the Super Bowl could have ended right there and the crowd would still be happy.

I would promise you I would be vigilant to confront you when you needed tough love, to praise you when you achieved important milestones. I would have told you to give up your career, the high celebrity pace, the drive to have a killer come back and I would tell all those publicists and producers and general parasites to go to hell. I would tell you that the only thing that matters now is for you to get well.

Most of all, I would tell you to surrender your will to your Creator. He knows your brain and He created you with so many beautiful gifts. More than anything, He desired you to live.

But as it is, the curtain has now been drawn and I never had the chance to meet you let alone be your friend. But even if I did, with the best of my intentions, I suspect I still I wouldn’t have had the power to save you. And that is what makes me sad the most as I contemplate your departure.

You once sang for God. I hope that you will sing for Him again one day.

Ivanildo C. Trindade