Bobbi Kris – by Miki Turner

bobbi kristina getty

The death of 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown on Sunday represents yet another tragic footnote for a family that seemingly once had it all except the strength to battle their own demons.

The daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown had apparently not shown any signs of life since a family friend discovered her lying face down in her bathtub on Jan. 31. TMZ, which broke the story, reported that Bobbi Kristina, whose mother’s death was eerily similar, passed away surrounded by her family at the hospice facility outside of Atlanta where she had been since June 24.

For nearly six months a plethora of theories—real or imagined—as to how she ended up on life support were reported in the tabloid and mainstream press. Some speculated that Bobbi Kris either died accidentally from natural causes, committed suicide, overdosed on drugs or was murdered. According to TMZ, the district attorney has launched a homicide investigation and Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend Nick Gordon, who was at the home they shared in suburban Atlanta on the day she was found in the tub, is apparently a person of interest.

This means that while she may be buried next to her mother in the days to come, it is very likely that the beneficiary of Houston’s millions may never fully rest in peace. The deafening noise that became her norm as the daughter of larger-than-life parental units will follow her into the grave.

tney Houston, Bobby Brown and their daughter Bobbi Kristina are greeted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for the premiere of "The Princess Diaries 2" at the Disneyland Resort August 7, 2004 in Anaheim, California

Those who never met her will pontificate about the life she led, could have led and how living in the enormous shadow cast by celebrity parents with substance abuse issues never really gave her a fighting chance. And, it didn’t help that her awkward adolescence was put on blast on her father’s reality show, “Being Bobby Brown.”
That show actually put a nail in all of their virtual coffins.

The real tragedy, however, is that Bobbi Kris died before she could actually carve out her own identity apart from the train wreck that was Whitney and Bobby. She leaves us at an age when most of her peers are graduating from college or making life plans that include a spouse and/or child. Sadly, her legacy will be defined by the sins of her parents and the murky circumstances surrounding her tragic demise.



And why, why, why?

Regardless, it was time. Multiple experts had told Bobbi Kristina’s family that there was no hope for recovery.


Here’s hoping, however, that as this story is discussed, debated, distorted and possibly debunked in the coming days that we’ll all remember that this was somebody’s child. Yes, she was a victim of privilege and excess, but it doesn’t take a shrink to tell you that her growth was stunted three years ago when her mother overdosed and drowned in a tub in her Beverly Hilton Hotel suite.

No one, regardless of his or her station in life, ever fully recovers from something like that. There’s no medication that can cure terminal pain. Your heart will continue to beat, but part of it will succumb.

Just ask Bobby Brown.

So, as we mourn the death of this young woman let us find comfort in knowing that her suffering is finally over. No more tears. No more pain. No more unflattering tabloid photos. No more rumors. No more unkind jokes.

And we’d be smart to squash all of the what-ifs. Everything happens for a reason. Let’s just hope despite the circus she was reared in, that she experienced many moments of joy during her short time here on Earth.

Goodnight baby girl. May your next journey begin at the intersection of Peace and Quiet.

Miki Turner is an award-winning photojournalist, author and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.

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