Me and Amy 

I’m really Amy Winehouse. Oh, I know we’re nothing alike on the outside. I’m old and flabby and Catholic. She was young and bulimic and Jewish. Despite years of piano lessons, I’m decidedly non-musical and can’t sing a note. Amy had so many musical gifts, including her gift for writing lyrics. Her voice–well. Her voice was one in a million. She sang like she was a hundred years old but with the energy and raw emotion of the young woman she was. She was a drug addict and an alcoholic and she died at 27. So why do I think I’m Amy? On the surface, we couldn’t be more different. But on the inside, we could be twins.  

Of course, I never knew her except through her music. I’ve never read any of the books written about her. I did see the new documentary out about her life. It blew me away. It’s a raw, hard look at Amy and it broke my heart. That’s the thing about great artists, they reveal who they are through their work. Amy laid herself bare in her music. That’s how I know that we are very much alike. Amy spent her short life desperately looking for something to make her feel whole. Like me. Like every one of us. Sure, most of us don’t turn to crack or heroin or alcohol to fill that need. We turn to other, more acceptable, but just as futile pursuits. We overeat or we work too much. We watch porn or we shop all our money away. But it’s all to make us feel something, to make us feel, somehow, okay. All of us want to feel loved and wanted. We all long to be understood and accepted just as we are. Like Amy, some people choose a path that destroys their physical bodies. Others, the majority of us, choose a slower death. We kill, not our bodies, but our souls. We slowly die just trying to find that one true love.

We bungle our way through life in a thousand different ways. We’re angry with those we care about. We’re unkind to the people with whom we work. We take easy shortcuts around the truth. We’re too quick to judge the folks around us. We don’t forgive. We find ways to feel offended and slighted by others. We gossip. We cheat on our spouses. We do anything and everything we can to fill that hole inside us and nothing, none of it works. None of it ever works.  

Every time I listen to Amy Winehouse sing, I’m stunned by her musical gifts and saddened that she left this earth so early on. I can hear her struggle and pain in her words and in that incredible, heart-rending voice. I wonder if her life would have been different if she hadn’t been a singer. If she’d worked in an office or sold real estate, would she have found what (who) she was looking for?  

How many people cross our paths each day who need to hear and to see in our lives that there IS a love that makes us whole? Am I being Christ in a way that reveals His truth and HIs love? I struggle and I fail every day. But I know the One Who saves me. I know that I am loved just the way I am and that I’m accepted and forgiven by Jesus Christ. God gave us a Church and through His Sacraments He shares His very life with us. Do I pass on that gift to the people I meet each day? That life in Christ is the answer to every question we’ve ever had. And we’re called to share that good news with everyone—even the addicts and the outcasts and the ones who push the world away at every opportunity. Especially those. Because one of those used to be Amy. And another one used to be me.  

“I cheated myself like I knew would.              I told you I was trouble. You know that I’m no good.”

               —Amy Winehouse 




1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kph52013
    Jul 13, 2015 @ 10:36:19

    Judy, this is an absolutely wonderful post. Very touching and insightful!


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