Let me start by saying I'm not a huge Amy Winehouse fan. I have the Back To Black CD around here somewhere. It's not even imported to my computer. I can listen to a song or two, then need to turn on something else. Great singer, obviously, but just not my favorite. No big deal.
When I heard that she'd died (through my twitter feed, actually), I felt a pang. Poor girl. She was such a talented thing, and had so many troubles. I'm not a celebrity-worship person- I don't watch TV or buy magazines- but just being in American culture I knew a bit about her struggles with addiction and depression. It's so tough. I don't have an addiction problem, but depression... I get it. It's just sad to hear that she wasn't able to find a way through.
I expected to find that same sentiment echoed, and it surprised me to see my twitter feed filled with people slamming Winehouse. Saying that her death was "expected" and a result of "bad choices." That she had wasted her talent. That they couldn't feel sorry for her because of that. Wait, what? Isn't that why we should feel sorry for her? Folks, you don't develop a substance abuse problem because you're in a good place. And depression is insidious. It leaks like acid into your weaker parts, turning fissures into cracks, into chasms. To fault her for not having the wherewithal to survive that... I'm just glad that you've never been in that place. You should thank God for your good fortune.
Then I started seeing people say things like, "Amy Winehouse's death in no way compares to the tragedy in Norway." This really got to me. Because what happened in Norway is horrible. But it's not a contest. 92 people were killed, but it seems like people feel this loss is somehow greater because of the high number. Like each one of those individuals who died is more important only because they are one of 92. And it sickens me, because if that gunman had only killed one person in Norway, we wouldn't even know about it.
My point is this:
It's all important.
Compassion needs to extend to everyone. Each person. Every untimely death- whether by an overdose, suicide, cancer, AIDS, murder- it's all a tragedy.
Listening to: the storm outside