The Day Amy Died

While I could happily tell you stories of our adventure to the zoo today or just how awesome our family is and how much I love our family reunions, there is actually an international news story taking place.

Amy Winehouse has died.

I don’t know Amy, I wouldn’t recognize one of her songs if I heard it.

I can recognize her from a photo and have read headline after headline about her drug abuse, visits to rehab, drinking problems, legal problems, etc.  For several years it’s been evident that, no matter what her musical ability, she was a train wreck in action.

When I read the news blurb that she was found dead in her apartment today my initial response was, “Eh, I’m surprised it took this long!”

I shared the news of her death to a few other people and all of us were completely unsurprised.  We talked about how we knew she was deeply troubled and how she had just gotten out of rehab.  We just chatted about her life and trouble and moved on to talk about something as inconsequential as the weather.

No remorse.

Now, in the quiet of my evening, I’m feeling pretty bad about the whole thing.

Amy was not a friend.  She was not family.  I’m not even sure I could get connected to her with the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

She was obviously in trouble and making devastating life choices but none of her choices impacted my life in a personal way.

So why should I care whether she’s alive or dead?

I really don’t care.



Except I believe there is a connection between all things.  I believe there is a Creator who made humans in His image and each of us has the vast responsibility of honoring that Creator in our humanity.

If I do not care about the train wreck that was Amy Winehouse’s life – enough to even sober for a moment at her death – when exactly do I start to care about others?

Do I begin to care when their death takes place in my country?  In my state?  In my city?

What about if they are involved in my religious faith?  My college alumni network?  A Facebook friend?  A family member?

When is it proper to care for someone?  Is it ever ok to really not care about another because their life has no bearing on your own?

If we stop caring ia a part of our own humanity and ability to relate to our surroundings compromised?

Is there ever a time when it’s absolutely right to stop caring?  When someone has made so many poor decisions distance and apathy toward them are the only logical answers?

I’m torn tonight because I don’t care.  In fact, there’s a little part of me that reads the headlines and judgementally thinks, “Well, she certainly had that coming!”

But there’s another facet of my thinking that feels like I really must care or I will be giving up  something crucial to the human condition we call “life.”

After all, when it is all said and done she’s just a 27-year-old girl with hopes, dreams and ambitions.  And I was 27 once with hopes, dreams and ambitions.  My kids will be 27-year-old girls with hopes, dreams and ambitions.

Our worlds are different but they are also the same.

What am I losing when I refuse to see our shared humanity and experience compassion?

What do you think?

Facebook Comments

4 thoughts on “The Day Amy Died

  • July 24, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    The sad part to me is that with all the money and fame it seems no one cared enough about her to try to stop her. Yes she went into rehab, however, that seemed to happen when she was court ordered of her manager was losing money from cancelled concerts. Where were her family and true friends?
    Our society has decided to take God out of everything and the cost is people becoming immune to Sin. The result of that is acceptance of bad behavior and blaming genes and parents for the poor decisions being made. Personal Responsibility is no longer required and going “into rehab” makes everything better, until they die young or commit some major crime that gets them imprisoned.
    Sad that people of fame are excused for behavior and people wait for them to die as a consequence of said behavior.
    All those mourning her death should also be mourning the deaths in Norway and from the train accident in China.. Those people matter too.

  • July 24, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    What made me sad about her death was that she probably went out into eternity without knowing Jesus. That was my first thought when I heard the news. I don’t claim to have the gift of evangelism or to even have prayed for her when she was alive. I’m like you, I wouldn’t know her songs if I heard one. My daughter would have to tell me it was her. Yet, it’s so sad to think that she died alone without hope. Your post gives us all something to ponder.

  • July 25, 2011 at 5:24 am

    You actually did care. You cared enough to read the article when you saw the headline, you cared enough to comment on it to the people you were around that day, even just for a moment converse about it. You may feel that because you didn’t dwell on it like you would someone you knew more personally or actualy met that it’s not caring. However, in a way you cared equally as much about her passing as she had a part in your life which is very appropriate and respectful.

    • July 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      You know, that’s a really good perspective – I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thank you!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: