The world lost a great musical talent last month with the death of Whitney Houston. There was excessive media attention over the matter however. Sure, Whitney was a cultural icon and touched thousands (or millions) with her singing. But she hadn’t been doing anything with music the few years prior to her death. That isn’t to say people shouldn’t be saddened by her passing. It’s always disappointing when someone dies, but people shouldn’t freak out over it. It’s funny how one celebrity’s death can carry a huge emotional toll on society while the deaths of thousands in third world countries doesn’t phase many people. I’m sure it crossed a lot of people’s minds that Whitney was killed by cocaine when they first heard of her dying. For a while there, it was believed that she just simply drowned in her bathtub. No drug use played a role. However, coroners recently discovered that “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” were contributing factors in Whitney Houston’s death.
Is it any surprise that cocaine played a role after the singer’s infamous history of drug use and abuse? Chief Coroner Craig Harvey said that 60% narrowing of her arteries “suggests a cardiac event complicated by the cocaine use.” According to CNN, other drugs were found in her body, including marijuana, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril and the allergy medicine Benadryl, the report said. The toxicology reports that none of these drugs played a part in her death however. Houston’s body was found just hours before a pre-Grammy party she was to attend. Her death did put quite a change in the Grammy’s planned agenda as well. The Grammy’s had to put together a whole new “in memorium” presentation honoring the singer. Just a day or two before mind you. Credit goes to them for doing so.
Death is never an easy thing to overcome. But it is something that must be overcome. Whitney Houston received, arguably, entirely too much media attention over her death. A family friend of my parents just passed away similar to the way Whitney Houston did, in a bathtub, because of excessive substance use. In his case, it was alcohol. Celebrity deaths such as the death of Miss Houston should encourage us all to practice moderation in our not so healthy endeavors, such as drinking. And that is me trying to put a positive spin on a grim topic. RIP Whitney Houston.