Whitney Houston is being laid to rest today. I never knew her personally, but fame does something where we feel familiarity. We've grown up listening to her songs and they were the soundtrack for our generation. So they feel like a part of us, and Whitney is a part of us.
I have a friend who has a problem with addiction to drugs, and who has overdosed already four times. He's only 19, and unphased by Whitney, or Amy Winehouse, or anyone else who's died after struggling with drug addiction. It's not easy to help people with addictive personalities.
As I ponder the struggles of Whitney and how to best preserve her memory, I think it's important to keep a perspective on what she would have wanted her legacy to be. Drug addiction is a disease, it's a physical and mental health problem. We should not demonize or dehumanize people who suffer from this or any other disease, and who struggle to overcome it. We should extend a human hand in solidarity.
I believe that a portion of the huge profits from Whitney's career should be poured into programs that help people coping with overcoming all kinds of addiction and help to advocate for them and educate people who love those with addictions to turn from a place of judgement into a place of understanding and true help.