Amy Winehouse and a Sleepless Night

Last night I saw a brief story on the news about a memorial service held for Amy Winehouse. During the story a young man from Serbia was interviewed. Amy had been booed off the stage at that performance because she was high and unable to really perform. The young man said that at first they were really upset that they'd paid money for such a terrible show, but now he doesn't mind so much because it's cool that he got to see her last performance.

I was curious so I checked youtube to see if there were any videos of that last concert.

I wish I hadn't.

I watched about six different songs from that concert and what I saw was tragic. I can't even think of a word that conveys the horror and heartbreak I watched.

And I wasn't a fan. I didn't know her. I'm not her parent or her sibling. I'm not her friend. But it was incredibly sad.

And I wondered, if it made me that sad, how does her Heavenly Father feel?

I've always been someone who thought people should stand up and be accountable for their actions, but as I watched her I realized she no longer had free will. Her life was governed by her addictions and she was at their mercy. Of course she had control of her actions in the beginning, but watching that concert, I didn't see a person who had any choice in the matter. Addiction had robbed her of her choices.

She slurred and staggered. She was behind most of the time on the words and often just quit singing. She picked at her arms like there was something there. She looked like she was going to throw up several times. A few times she laughed and tried to dance and then other times she looked completely disoriented. She couldn't figure out what to do with her hair. A few times she looked like she was in dreadful pain and her face would contort like she would start to cry.

As I felt sad for her pain, I felt frustration with those around her. The people on that stage with her or watching from the wings--her managers, her band, her backup singers--what were they thinking? Was it just about picking up their paycheck? She shouldn't have been out there. Someone should have picked up that 90 pound lost soul and carried her off that stage and to a hospital. Had everyone given up?

People say she was talented. I don't really know enough about her music to agree or disagree with any confidence. But she was one of God's children who lost her way.

I hope she's feeling some peace.


Aim Aug said...

Thanks Karey! I needed that. I wasn't really a fan either, but I have been thinking a lot about addiction lately. My sweet cousin is moving into the ward next to us. She is a recovering drug addict with two small children. My kids will be playing with her kids, they might be at her house sometimes. It makes me nervous. I know she hates the choices she has made, the people who love her that she has hurt terribly with her actions, the things that drugs caused her to do. She is doing really well, but she has faultered several times. At first I was so angry, for her children, her parents; I wanted to shake her and scream at her. But I also realize she hates this as much (maybe more than) the rest of us. She fears judgement, from family, from the Lord, from neighbors, but addiction will always be there, and she will always have to deal with it. I wish those who choose to try chemical dependence could look into the future and see what it will do to their lives, their children's lives, their families and friends. Maybe someone will realize from Amy Winehouse's life never to go down that road.

Lori said...

Your post was so right. It is very hard to watch someone that has lost all their agency to addictions. It's also hard watching them deal with the consequences of the choices that they've made. We just have to keep loving them and being there for them.

Vea said...

Lots of sad people like her are out there. She was a pretty girl.

Kristi said...

It is so very sad to see anyone lose themselves like that.
That cunning and crafty Satan. He won in this instance. Sad.

Tawnie said...


Lisa said...

besides one expletive, i really enjoyed reading russell brand's tribute to her (and i don't like him). a lot of it rang really true to things i have seen and i felt like he really cared. anyway. you should read it

Rich said...

Excellent post, Karey. I was a fan of Amy Winehouse. She did some good stuff before her personal demons caught up to her. I think she deserves some compassion as well. 27 is too young to die.

Leslie said...

heart breaking.

Scott / Lori said...

Just terrible. I liked what you had to say. I feel sad for her family.