July 25, 2011 by Sarojini Seupersad
I can’t say I’m surprised (can anyone actually say her death is shocking?), but the loss is felt nonetheless. There is no one like Amy Winehouse, and while her life seemed to rocket upward and then spiral quickly downward, likely, no one is going to fill the musical hole she leaves behind; a deep, soulful voice – emotional, sad and mature beyond its years. How could a voice so young carry so much experience and resonate with so many? Talent, I suppose, too much to know how to deal with. The questions I keep hearing over and over are: why didn’t she get help? Why didn’t someone close to her help her? The truth is, addiction doesn’t work that way, especially when the addicted person is rich and famous. I don’t think anyone is beyond help, but the nature of an addict’s life is not to surround themselves with helpful people.
Here’s what I think: some people don’t come into this world with the proper coping skills it takes to get on with it. And sometimes, it’s not their fault and they don’t even know it. Some of us have natural coping mechanisms – some of us don’t and need to find unnatural coping mechanisms. Being, what some people say is crazy, stupid, insecure or whatever choice adjective you’d like to use to describe Amy Winehouse, all while being famous, was obviously too much for her to bear.
Wrestling with one’s demons is always messy. Her fight, unfortunately, was messier than most and we all saw it every time she sang. Here is one of her most raw, pure live performances.