Amy Winehouse and a foolish disregard for life

1 Aug

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So we’re still waiting to hear what caused the death of the very troubled Amy Winehouse. Was it drugs, drink, a last ditch attempt to give them up? Somewhere in there I’m guessing was addiction, no doubt fuelled by low self esteem, maybe even depression. A tragic loss of life. But should we have sympathy for her? Or did she bring it all on herself, and so deserve none of our pity?

Quite a few people were quite scathing about her in the aftermath, some even cracking jokes as the news came in. “I don’t have any sympathy for her”, “Like, finally! Been waiting for this to happen for ages”, ” Should have gone to rehab!”, “She had money, why didn’t she just buy herself out of addiction?”.  I was quite taken aback actually. I’m always sad whenever a life is lost early, whether it’s through illness or something (arguably) of their own making – addiction, suicide etc  (Actually i don’t think addiction is anything of the sort, far from it actually). In any case it seems a lot of people don’t agree with me.

One of my friends was quite harsh, and initially it surprised me. But then I got it. She had survived cancer. Twice. She had fought so hard for her life, battled her way through harsh and sickening courses of treatment. Clung on to life, hoped for, cried for it at her lowest, and there was someone who seemingly, churlishly had just thrown it away.

I can understand that.

Like I can understand the pain and anger for someone suffering infertility of watching tens and hundreds of people around them terminating their own pregnancies. Or for someone with an hereditary liver disease watching another drink themselves into oblivion.

It must be so hard to watch something you have agonised over yourself, something elusive and yearned-for being mistreated by someone else.

I still think Amy Winehouse is deserving of our full sympathy, just as I feel for any addict, or mentally ill person who takes their life, or any victim of a lifestyle-related illness.  I also believe that life is sacred and should be cherished every moment of every day.  Life is full of these dichotomies, complications and hypocrisy. The best we can do is try not to judge others too harshly.

What can bring one person pain and heartache, can be the solution to another one’s dreams.

17 Responses to “Amy Winehouse and a foolish disregard for life”

  1. susie@newdaynewlesson August 1, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    very very well said

  2. kim August 1, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    No debate here- just appreciation of your kind and sincere words.

    • marketingtomilk August 1, 2011 at 7:35 am #

      Ah thanks Kim, very glad I come across as honest and sincere

  3. Julia Skinner August 1, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    It is so difficult to find that balance between sadness for a life lost & anger at the waste. You have summed it up very well here H!

    • marketingtomilk August 1, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      Yes, that’s exactly it. But it is your life at the end of the day, so can you be angry at someone else’s decisions regarding theirs?

  4. Insomniac Mummy August 1, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I can understand your references to cancer etc, but what I cannot agree with is your point that mental illness is a ‘lifestyle related illness’..

    That is quite simply not true.

    • marketingtomilk August 1, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Sorry, but i didn’t say that. “lifestyle-related illness” refers to my earlier description of liver disease caused by drinking – another example would be lung cancer caused by smoking (a topic covered in an earlier post).

      “any addict, or mentally ill person who takes their life, or any victim of a lifestyle-related illness”

      3 different categories, as denoted by the words “or” and “and”.

      I’m sorry you misread this. As someone who suffers from mental illness myself, i’m pretty clear that depression is not caused by eating too many muffins.

      • Insomniac Mummy August 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

        Thanks for clearing that up.

        The way the sentence is structured still reads to me as if you’re saying addiction and mental ilness are lifestyle choices, but I guess that’s why the written word, and tone, ate often so easily misconstrued.


  5. ChiBibi August 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Well said honey.

    I don’t think people choose to be unhappy, there are many circumstances that lead them down that road. We have to ask ourselves why people become addicted, what leads them there in the first place? How would we react in their position?

    I have encountered many deaths of family and friends from cancer, traffic accidents and suicides…. Each and every one of them are distressing and leave turmoil behind them.

    We lost our grandfather last night to cancer. He never smoked a cigarette in his life or took drugs for that matter. He also never complained once, not throughout the whole 6 weeks he was ill (except to tell us to stop fussing). I admire him tremendously for that.

    Who are we to judge. You simply can’t harbour anger for other peoples decisions unless you have walked in their shoes.

  6. rozzibee August 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Yes. I did have to fight for my life twice. And yes, it annoyed me that people were more sympathetic towards her than the 91 people who died in Oslo the day before who had no choice. My gut reaction was that I had no sympathy for her. Her family and friends yes, but not her.

    Stories have come out about her buying £1200 drugs the night before she died. True or not I don’t know. We don’t know it was drugs that killed her. But the chances are it had something to do with it.

    My friend summed it up nicely. She was a friend, a daughter a godmother, and to her rest in peace, but to the drug addict, thank god its over. Maybe now she’s at peace with herself.

    • marketingtomilk August 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      I think addiction is way more complicated than this, and all addicts are deserving of sympathy. i dont’ think my sympathy will be swayed by what she did or did not buy the night before. It will only serve to underline the tragedy of her addiction.

  7. Simone August 2, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Very thought-provoking post, lady.
    You have really put it so well.
    Loved it.

  8. michelletwinmum August 3, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I am with you, addiciton is a sad illness that no-one wants to be part of but unfortunately many can not find the way to crawl out of it.

    Mich x

  9. Dan O'Neil August 3, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    I think it’s quite sad that there are so many people who are so quick to judge. There’s a huge influence here of the media – a death of someone like this creates more conversation, argument and opinion than the tragic events in Norway (as mentioned by rozzibee), simply because there’s so much more written about this one person.

    In reality, as has been stated, what you do in your life is your choice – if we all understood that, there would be less trouble in the world. My advice to anyone who thinks that she deserved it is to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and be honest about all the things you deserve…

  10. Touch2Touch September 1, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    A very balanced and gentle and wise post.
    Life is not simple, it’s immensely complex, and we do well to be humble before that. You put it so well —

I'm all about the debate. Would love to hear what you think.

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