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Back To Black


I didn’t know Amy Winehouse.

I never called her on the phone and said, “What’s up SLUT?” like I do my best friends. I’d never been to see her play in concert and I never said the one thing I always wanted to: “eat a fucking sandwich.” These are all things I’d lovingly say to my bestest of friends.

I never knew Corey Haim, either.

I’m barely up on whatever Hollywood is doing this week, if it doesn’t involve my television husbands, Dexter or Dr. House. And even those two, I couldn’t tell you where they lunch or who they’re dating (besides me obvs) because I don’t much care. I was a strict Corey Feldman fan myself – if I had to choose – and the only reason I knew much about him was through his television show, The Two Coreys.

And yet, when they died, I was gutted. On the floor and weeping like they were my very closest friends.

But I knew those two had once had something special: a sparkle. A shine. Something that set them apart from the rest of us shmos, trudging along in the dirt, eking out a living.

And I also know someone else who died who bore the very same sparkle like a noose around her neck. Someone who I’d watched drown that sparkle in the bottle, unable to find her happyiness in this world. Someone else found dead in her bed. Another star snuffed out.


Now, I know addicts. My parents are in recovery now, but I grew up like so many of us did, in the shadow of that bottle. I know the hunger, the itching deep within the bones only tamed by the bottle or the pill. I understand.

Perhaps it is because of this that I never blamed myself for her death. I knew better. An addict is an addict and sobriety is a choice. Not the kind of choice that someone else can make for you. But that doesn’t stop me from weeping into my coffee cup, gutted by the loss of someone that sparkled. It hits too close to home, perhaps, or maybe I’m just getting soft in my old age.

If I’ve learned nothing of addiction beyond a jaw-grind disposition to a panic attack, I’ve learned this: those whom you love – those who love you back – they are a part of you. Always. And however corny it may sound, life is precious. No, that’s not right. Life is FUCKING precious. Wait, let me try that again, just for Stef: Life is MOTHERFUCKING precious.

Much better.

I’ve also learned this: born of tragedy, sometimes that too, can be magical.

35 Comments to

“Back To Black”

  1. On July 28th, 2011 at 12:49 pm Brandon Says:

    “Life is MOTHERFUCKING precious.”

    Nobody can say it better. It is a tragedy when anyone dies, let alone someone public like a singer. I was sad to see her die, but if the lives of millions can learn from her, than maybe it wasn’t in vain?

    I dunno… there I go rambling again.


  2. On July 28th, 2011 at 12:51 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I really hope so.

  3. On July 28th, 2011 at 12:50 pm Caroline Says:


  4. On July 28th, 2011 at 12:52 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Thank you.

  5. On July 28th, 2011 at 12:56 pm fidget Says:

    very true


    life is motherfucking precious,

    your next shirt. You should make it a fund raiser for

  6. On July 28th, 2011 at 3:10 pm Amy, LLA_Princess Says:


  7. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:06 pm Barbara Says:

    Well said. Also, “life is MOTHERFUCKING precious” should be on a t-shirt.

  8. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:23 pm Lady Estrogen Says:

    I concur with this sentiment, 100%.

  9. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:10 pm Ryan Says:

    You got that right AB. Some things born of tragedy, can be magical…. amen to that!

  10. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:11 pm baseballmom Says:

    omg, awesome post. i just always felt that my dad didn’t quit because we weren’t important enough, and before he saw past the bottle and realized what he was missing, it killed him. i watch ‘intervention’ and watch the families celebrating when their loved one agrees to go…all the while thinking , ‘don’t get too happy, it doesn’t mean it will work!’

  11. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:17 pm Ms Dreamer Says:

    I’d buy that shirt (soons as I get some monies). Life is MOTHERFUCKING precious, indeed.

  12. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:46 pm Erin@MommyontheSpot Says:

    This story got to me, too. There is someone in my life that I worry about a lot. And when something like this happens, it makes me scared that it will happen to him. Life is too precious. WEll said.

  13. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:52 pm Heather Says:

    I greatly appreciate this post, for all the reasons that a lot of people don’t seem to understand. Whenever I hear about someone dying from an overdose, it hurts my heart. I have met so many great people in recovery and I know all too well that any day it could be any one of those people. And as much as I dispise my ex, there is a part of me that feels for him, knows it is a disease and that he tries the best he can. He doesn’t have a strong program right now and if it were to be him some day I would try to give my son empathy among what would surely be a storm of critisim.

  14. On July 28th, 2011 at 1:54 pm LyndawithaY Says:

    all I know is the thing I felt in my gut each time I heard her sing. her voice was so soulful, so full of blues and heartache and pain. I was sorry that she couldn’t figure out how to climb out of addiction so I could listen to her some more.

  15. On July 28th, 2011 at 2:50 pm Heli Says:

    I never put the connection together. I felt sad and sorry when Amy Winehouse and Corey Haim died. I guess I just thought it is the “Hollywood lifestyle” and a lot of people fall victim to that craziness.

    My dad died from his addiction at 51. Obviously that’s not something you get over…EVER.

    In reading your blog, I got this enormous lump in my throat and started to feel nauseous. I guess I previously wasn’t allowing my self to “go there.”

    Now that I’m “there,” it hurts and I feel your pain too.

  16. On July 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm Heather Says:

    Even though we all saw it coming, I was still so saddened Amy’s death, because somewhere deep down I hoped that she would see the light and be able to conquer her addiction, meet a nice Jewish doctor, get married, have babies, all the while making awesome music.
    Such a waste of talent.

  17. On July 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm Amy, LLA_Princess Says:

    I work in and mental health, its heart wrenching to see people struggle with addictions
    As having 2 boys both diagnosed with autism, and struggling with my own periods of depression I can say, Life is MOTHERFUCKING precious

  18. On July 28th, 2011 at 3:08 pm Amy, LLA_Princess Says:

    uh son was interrupting haha that was ‘I work in addictions and mental health, its heart wrenching to see people struggle with addictions Also having 2 boys both diagnosed with autism, and struggling with my own periods of depression I can say, Life is MOTHERFUCKING precious’

  19. On July 28th, 2011 at 3:06 pm Alida L Says:

    My mother recently died of a heroin overdose. After 14 months clean. 52 years old. My heart has always hurt when I saw a celeb death due to drugs because I guess I always knew my mother would suffer the same fate. I wish I could take addiction and kick it in the motherfucking throat!

  20. On July 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm Chibi Jeebs Says:

    I love you. That is all. <3

  21. On July 28th, 2011 at 4:31 pm katrina Says:

    It doesn’t matter if we know them,…every life enriches us, and every death diminishes us. We are all one. But it is especially heartbreaking when a young person dies from their addiction. i am very sorry for your pain at the loss of your good friend. Your tribute to her on BBT is just beautiful. And as you said, “it must be.”

  22. On July 28th, 2011 at 4:51 pm Bodaciousboomer Says:

    As an ancient one it’s saddens me to see any life end so prematurely. It’s awful that so many young ones just have no idea just how many people love and care about them.

  23. On July 28th, 2011 at 5:35 pm Jennifer B Says:

    Aunt Becky, this post, and the one you linked to on BB2G, are some of your best fucking work. Wow. Just wow. You are such a strong and brave and utterly amazing woman. I really admire YOU.

  24. On July 28th, 2011 at 5:46 pm Cindy Says:

    Aunt Becky, I love you. I just motherfucking love you.

  25. On July 28th, 2011 at 5:53 pm Marta Says:

    You’re completely right. There is nothing one can do, no one to blame, its just such a sad sad shame.

  26. On July 28th, 2011 at 6:26 pm Alexandra Says:

    Me, too.

    My peers don’t get it.

    But, me, too: as if I knew them personally.

    The pain in her face at that last concert: where she sang Back to Black. You can tell she was in her own painful thoughts: and that song was the last nail in the coffin.

    You could feel it.

    Or, those like us, could feel it.

    I loved her.

  27. On July 28th, 2011 at 9:07 pm Becca Says:

    I feel the same. It breaks me to see them so young and gone so early. She was 9 years older than my daughter. Its so sad.

  28. On July 28th, 2011 at 9:32 pm Robin Says:

    This entry made me cry (the way only a child of an addict could) because it was so true. Amy Winehouse’s death hit me hard because it was so….senseless.

    And yes….life is motherfucking precious.

  29. On July 28th, 2011 at 9:35 pm CeSSyG Says:

    life is MOTHERFUCKING precious so i just want you to know that i heart you slut! well said… as always.

  30. On July 28th, 2011 at 9:48 pm Emsxiety Says:

    ‘ life is motherfucking precious’
    Addiction is it’s own kind of hell.

  31. On July 28th, 2011 at 10:21 pm Tracie Says:

    When Corey Haim died, I crawled up in a ball of grief. Because I knew him, not him personally, but his heart, his past, his life, his struggles. I have seen them repeated over and over in people who I love, and it hurts every time. I feel the same way about Amy Winehouse.

    Life is motherfucking precious, indeed.

  32. On July 28th, 2011 at 10:58 pm Anonymousy Says:

    Amazing…thank you.

  33. On July 29th, 2011 at 1:11 am Nicole Elaine Says:

    Years ago when I heard that a good friend of mine from high school was found dead on his couch with his face in a bowl of melted cream, I was numb with shock. I mean “I’d just talked to him!” (That really is your first response.) ME stated: Death By Misadventure. Really. Oklahoma is sometimes on par with Deadwood.
    He was a victim of his addiction.
    When I was sixteen, I discovered Heather’s body in her parents garage. She’d hung herself. Almost our whole class attended her funeral. Perhaps I’m a wicked bitch, but 99% of them contributed to the despair that led her to take her own life, and I wanted to cut them for showing their faces.
    She, too, was a victim of early addiction. If she’d been sober, maybe…
    Yes, Aunt B., their lives were absolutely mother fucking precious. No, they weren’t stars, but my night sky is darker without them.

  34. On July 29th, 2011 at 7:33 am Lianne Marie Binks Says:

    I’m the child of an alcoholic and I cannot agree with this more.

  35. On July 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm Faery Chaos Says:

    I had a friend that was in Hollywood, we went to Jr. High together (he used to sit behind me and snap my bra straps) and we stayed friends for years, until just after high school. Then I went out of state and lost touch.

    A few years later, I was reading celebrity deaths in the last year and saw his name.

    It completely crushed me. It still does. Writing this is hard.

    Jonathan Brandis. He was so motherfucking funny, he would have me in tears most times with my stomach hurting from laughing so much.

    Life is motherfucking precious…

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