When I heard on the radio that Amy Winehouse had been found dead in her home at age 27, I felt as if I’d been slapped. Tears instantly welled in my eyes, and I was shocked to feel a sob rise in my throat.
I did not know Amy Winehouse. Never even met her fleetingly.
Since last Sunday, I have found myself listening to Amy Winehouse’ music, and will often find myself choking back the tears over this unfortunate singer’s fate.
Now, of course you will remember, that the day before Amy Winehouse died, 92 people in Norway were murdered at the hands of a right-wing terrorist nutjob - which of course upset me terribly, but I have somewhat shamefully felt more grief for someone who, let’s face it, didn’t exactly treat her body like a temple. Does this make me a bad person?
I have several theories on this: one is that 92 deaths is so inconceivably awful that if I was to try to comprehend the totality of lives lost I would go to pieces. If I were to discover a personal detail of one of those poor victims, even if it was something as insignificant as their love of ping-pong, I would probably lose my shit.
My other theory is that I’ve somewhat embarrassingly considered myself close to Winehouse through my love of her music and my obsession with her Back to Black album. I played her album ad nauseam following my break-up with my ex-fiance, and there were many nights I would stay awake, chain-smoking in my ensuite at 3am, headphones blasting “I go back to blaaaaaaack”. Then in my next relationship, when I was forced to do the “manly” household chores, like fixing the furniture or the toilet, I would find myself singing Stronger than Me.
I’ve forgotten all of young love’s joy
Feel like a lady, and you’re my lady-boy
You should be stronger than me
Then there are the personal similarities. Whilst I have never been one for hard drugs, at one stage I was rather fond of my legally-prescribed ADHD medication, and I know how easily it is to form an addiction. Having quit smoking, dexies AND going sober for over a year throughout my pregnancy and after having a baby, I know how hard it must’ve been for her to try to kick the habit. And I know how awful lifestyle habits can ravage your looks. And let’s face it -her choice in men was questionable too.
I can’t find much on the psychological rationale behind grieving a celebrity’s death, besides other saddo bloggers with the same personal crisis. I wasn’t like this when Michael Jackson died, sure I dug his old albums out, but it’s not like I started crying into my drink AT THE PUB, which I found myself doing when Tears Dry On Their Own came on at the end of trivia the other night. Can someone say cuckoo?!
Anyway, my thoughts are with the Winehouse family, and her actual friends, who knew her best. She was a fantastic talent and will be sorely missed by her fans. R.I.P.