One of my closest friends, Natalie, lost her mother in her early twenties, as a result of her mother’s addiction. Natalie’s mother had a past with drugs, but when she got pregnant with Natalie she gave it all up. They were thick as thieves for a number of years, and my dear friend remembers her early years with her mother fondly. Her mother was in an accident years later, and she was prescribed pain pills.
We all know the rest of the story. A person who had previously battled with substance abuse should tread over cautiously with prescription pain pills. It is a story I have heard so many times. Natalie’s mother spiraled down, and she ended up being hit by a car. She was homeless, and she was an addict. She left several children behind…each one of them, undoubtedly hurting.
I see my friend’s pain in her eyes when she talks about it. The story is really amazing, but it is not my story to tell, so I will leave that to Natalie. But I can say that her mother’s death affects her every day. Her mother’s choice of that lifestyle over raising her children undoubtedly pains Natalie, as well.
She is approaching her college graduation, and I am sure she wishes her mother could watch her walk across the stage. Natalie wants to get married and have children. And I think about the night my son was born, while Natalie stood outside my door with my mother, waiting for my son to be born. But when Natalie’s first child is born, her mother will only be watching from heaven. Like me, Natalie is a writer. I wish her mother could read some of her stories because they are really good. Instead, her mother haunts the stories in the faces of the characters, and the tragedy of the tale.
I often think about how hard it must be for my dear friend at times, and I think about how hard it will be for Bobbi Kristina. Her mother will miss out on her daughter’s success and failures as an adult. Her mother will not be there when she gets married, or when she makes her first record. Her mother will no longer be at her side at each milestone of her life. I think about how my mother used to put a cold rag on my head when I had a fever, or comforted me when I cried. There are times we all want our mother, and I cannot imagine what it would be like not to be able to talk to my mother then.
I read in one article that Bobbi Kristina “idolized her mother.” I guess we all idolize our mother to some degree. I fear that Whitney’s public substance abuse could also lead her daughter to idolize that aspect as well. Hopefully, this tragedy will change that trajectory for her daughter. Hopefully, this tragedy will make Bobbi Kristina realize drugs are not a path she, too, wants to follow. She has a really good support system to help her through these tough times.
The world mourns the death of Whitney Houston. But, those most affected by it are her loved ones. Her family. And most importantly, her daughter.