Whitney Houston's death Saturday surprised us. And yet, it shouldn't have.
For years now we've been hearing about her struggle with drugs and no one seemed to do anything about it. Like Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse, she lived a very public private life...one that proved too difficult to bear.
Why were there open cries for help but no one there to offer it? If, indeed, she had caring friends and family, why didn't they take charge and help her to sobriety? Ironically, she was in Beverly Hills to attend the Grammys and sing the praises of her mentor Clive Davis. But why wasn't somebody in his camp returning the favor and helping her?
All too often, stars like Houston (and Jackson and Winehouse) are surrounded by people who make their living off a dependent star. They say the wrong things in order to key their revenue streams flowing. They don't say what should be said.
The tabloid media can be blamed, too. They splash the celebrities' lowest moments on their covers, then dog them wherever they go just to get that money-making meltdown shot. Instead of helping these people (by giving them space to heal), they harrass.
Fans create unrealistic expectations of celebrities, too, and turn on them when support is needed the most.
Last year, Whitney looked like she was beginning to see light. She had completed a round of rehab, made a movie and was interested in singing again.
Apparently, she fell into the wrong crowd and the downward spiral began.
Saturday, we learned the result of that lifestyle.
Fittingly, perhaps, the last song she sang in public was "Jesus Loves Me." Even when friends turned on her, she knew who she could count on.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.
One of the greatest voices of all is silenced. And for no good reason.