Saturday, February 18, 2012
A Perfect Eulogy: When Kevin Costner hit the ball out of the Park at Whitney Houston’s Funeral!
Keywords or Terms: Entertainers; Eulogy; Whitney Houston Funeral; Kevin Costner; Frailty and fragility of life; Mother’s love; Successes; Triumphs; Courage and sacrifice; Demons and Devils; Life and Living; Challenges; Celebration of Life.
When it comes to emotions, hardly many from Hollywood ever wanted to wear those on their sleeves; but one unique man, one very emotional actor this morning at the going away celebration of the life of Whitney Houston, gave a rather befitting eulogy. Closing his seventeen minute remarks at the New Hope Baptist Church, Newark, New Jersey, that nearly moved me to tears, Actor Kevin Costner said: “Whitney if you can hear me now, you weren’t just good enough”; and with a cracking away voice and few minutes to spare, hit the ball out of the park, when he added: “When you sing before Him, don’t worry, you’ll be good enough.” These final words not only made the water under my eye lid swell, my wife couldn’t just hold it back as she screamed: “Thank You, Bro….ther!” The agony in her voice told me something, this woman loves Whitney Houston’s voice, just like millions over the world, and couldn’t imagine she could be gone at such a tender age. The blog today, is about the fragility of human life; the frailty in the time we all get to spend here and the sacrifice that mothers make.
As my wife sobbed, never mind she cries over everything, I had to console her, she wondered what crazy demons get into so many of our successful entertainers, artists, actors, musicians, painters and the rest, that they just throw it all away at very tender age. Maybe an answer to this question is better found in Ms. Houston’s own words to Oprah Winfrey: “I am my own devil.” The demons and devils that destroy so many entertainers, professionals and non-professionals, are found in their addiction or weaknesses to drugs and many other vices that so many of us like to deny, until the unfortunate, the unimaginable happens: Death! This is a very sad day and thing; but, man is known to engineer despair for himself once he reaches the pinnacle of success; or, when he imagines himself as being on that unexpected and probably undeserved throne. At that time, he or she never understands why they are only saved, by his grace! Did I hear, Amen?
Many successful entertainers find themselves in a blessed drain-pipe and hardly understand how to crawl carefully, or crawl out of a logjam, when they reach the pinnacle of success. A few of them understand that challenge; and, attempt to live carefully, modestly and judiciously, crawling without misspent days of life, enjoying more years on earth than they can ever pray for. However, others are bemoaned by the devil of addictions and rarely understand how to get themselves out of whatever demon or spells they are under. A few behavioral corrective institutions and family members are able to redirect their fortunes, if they can quickly get to them, or when they are given the opportunity to turn back the clock of time. However, sometimes, something just has to give; and when it does, it leaves a trail of sorrow that none of us likes to share.
Once bemoaned or hooked, often times, the test of courage becomes rather to live than to die; and some of them in the middle of the crisis, fail to appreciate life or learn to live, knowing fully well that we all have just one chance! Like my old man often says: “None of us ever understands life’s misery, none therefore, should attempt to die with the hope of coming back, just because we find the challenges of living, encapsulating!” Many of our lives are tossed between riches and poverty; and when fortune arrives; we must remember not to enjoy it in vagrancy, else we die an untimely death, leaving behind grief and sorrow for our loved ones and those who truly admire us. Life can be rich, poor, nasty, short or long; but none of us, ever wishes away the sunny side of life. That’s why when the sunshine of life is here, let us be prudent, let us be careful, let use live life tenderly, so we do not bring despair or continual woes to our family, friends and admirers. At least, we owe them that!
Success is ephemeral; and, nothing can exceed the vanity of existence but the folly of exuberant celebration of success itself. Success makes a man or woman, estimable and often serves them as a pedestal to fame. However, fame itself is a terrible gift of hard work or luck; so let us appreciate life and enjoy success with care; else we succumb to the strongest poison ever known to man or woman. Let us therefore, not live life, in pursuit of self-high or elevation, celebrating successes cheerily without caution, for happy is the man or woman who has not made his or her loved ones, suffer the misfortune of death or the sorrow of loosing them at a tender age. To see Ms. Houston (Senior) propped up by two mourners on the center aisle of the New Hope Baptist Church, was a spectacle of pain and grief; both of which none of us would ever wish our enemies. Can I hear, an Amen?
Mothers are loving, mothers are caring, they are the pew we all sit on, the stool we all stand over; and the strong shield, we mostly hold onto whenever we all screw things up; or, about to screw them up. Mothers are trusted warriors, they are the couch on which all infants sleep and always remain dearer to us all, as we all grow older. Let us therefore never let them suffer the pain of carrying out caskets or the distracting grief of burying us at any age. To say of a mother, let no angel hold forth is to fail to appreciate the sacrifices many mothers make. So for the sake of our mothers, let us all enjoy our successes and triumphs with trepidation, not out of fear, but for the sake of our mothers who have labored so hard that we turn out to be better human beings. To say all is well of a grieving mother, is to lay all our frailty and failures at the doorstep of our creator and abstain from due personal responsibility. However, who of us is so clueless as to want to stop the singing in our mother’s heart when all is well and we gracefully bid our time at siphoning the luxury of successes? To the wise, a word is sufficient!
Another day has gone, another funeral service for another famous entertainer has come and gone, let all on the treadmill of life, appreciate the sacrifice that has got us this far. Let us appreciate the sacrifice of many mothers, who have unselfishly yielded to our fragility and worked hard to make sure that a day like this does not come; and God-forbids, repeat itself! We must never fail to appreciate the sacrifice and cost that many mothers have had to bear, so many of us can live that abundant life we all crave for. For the famous and the soon-to-be famous, let us celebrate our successes with caution so that the hand that rocks the cradle does not lift the casket!
I reiterated to any who says, we should hold our breath, we should not throw the first stone, that we all have fallen short of expectation and that only by his Grace are we all saved. On this, I beg for your forgiveness, endurance or accommodation: what has to be said, must be, no matter whose groin is being lined. The grief of a child's burial by a parent says just too much to be overlooked or ignored at moment as this.
Today, I pray that our heavenly father assuages the anguish of bereavement for the Houston’s family and clan. I pray that we all enjoy and cherish Whitney Houston’s memory in all the songs she has left for us to enjoy. May her gentle soul rest in peace!