When I learned about the death of Whitney Houston Saturday, I was sitting with my sisters watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” My mom yelled to us the news from upstairs, prompting us to immediately break into chaos.

Everyone around the world has a personal story about what Houston means to them. I suppose my story is that she’s always been a part of my life in more than just music. She’s basically been a part of my childhood. I grew up listening to her songs, watching her movies, and seeing her perform on live music shows like the Grammys. Like Michael Jackson, I blindly assumed she would be a part of my life forever. However, just like Jackson, the news of her sudden death came as a surprise.

There are actually several similarities between Jackson and Houston. Not only were they megastars, winning awards at every music event they attended, but they were also troubled. They had substance abuse problems and had families who had to deal with the abuse, wanting them to get better. They both had loyal fans who continued to hope for the best, for the big comeback that would allow their idols to reclaim their former glory. And sadly, both left the world in a shocking and sudden way, creating vortex-like vacuum in the world’s collective consciousness. How the vacuum from Houston’s sudden departure will be resolved, it’s hard to say. But, we dealt with the same emptiness when Jackson died, and while there will never be another like Jackson, we have been able to put the pieces of our lives back together in order to go on. Eventually, we will all come to terms with Houston’s death in our own ways; however, I don’t think a lot of us will ever find peace with it, just like so many still haven’t found peace with Jackson’s death.

If there are some out there who are reading this who are dealing with the grief by listening to Houston’s music, there is a YouTube video of her singing “Don’t Cry For Me” live. Most news outlets are using “I Will Always Love You” as their dedication song, but to me, “Don’t Cry For Me” is more poignant because it’s almost like Houston herself is telling us that she is okay and we must have strength and courage to go on without her.

Whitney Houston was and still is The Voice, and she will be missed.

Written by: Monique Jones

Whitney Houston Performing Live

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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