Amy Jade Winehouse: How Her Fans Are Coping With Their Grief
This page is designed to offer a very brief overview of the manner in which some fans of Amy Jade Winehouse have been coping with their grief that resulted from the loss of the megastar.
- Letting Go Means Holding On
- Fans Support Amy Winehouse Foundation
- Fans Make Online 'Amy Pages'
- Fans Help Promote AJW's Music
- Fans Support The Musical Career of Mitch Winehouse
- Fans Raise Their Voices Against The Tabloids
- Fans Fight Back Against Archaic Disease Chauvinism
- Perpetual Delivery of Fan Tributes to AJW's Home
- Potentially Destructive Depression Among Young Fans
- Moving Forward
Letting Go Means Holding On
Since that terrible day when cries suddenly shifted from 'Please Save Amy' to 'Please God, No,' a pall of sometimes paralyzing grief has hung nearby the millions of fans that feel a cement bond to Amy Jade Winehouse. Seasoned wags have called that connection - to the art and the artist - 'the most powerful star/fan link' that they have ever seen. Absence does not break such links, but can actually reinforce them; that fact has now come to be well understood by many AJW fans.
It is easy for the uninvolved to dismiss as 'nonsense' the grief delivered to fans when their songbirds fly away. The scoffers are simply disconnected from things they do not understand, concepts they refuse to accept. More than half-a-century ago, Johnny Carson showed his full understanding of those concepts when he said:
"The bonds that will grow between entertainers and their fans will be similar to those between family members. When those celebrities pass away, the sadness fans experience will be enormous. Near perpetual grief awaits many.”
That insight sprang solely from Carson’s view of the growing power of television. The internet, youtube videos, increasing personal contact between celebs and their fans, and the 24/7 news cycle were not part of his calculus. Neither did he contemplate things like the force of the 'heart surgery without anesthesia' nature of AJW's music, her dynamic live performances, her warm and personal dealings with fans, and her ultra adventurous public life.
While 'closure' is a myth, its general trappings of symbolic farewells were not offered to AJW's fans. When Michael Jackson passed, the whole world said goodbye in a tasteful and moving ceremony. Whitney Houston's televised funeral also delivered a meaningful and important last goodbye to fans. The only ciao that AJW's public got was a picture of her trusted bodyguards holding a small metal box that was reported to contain her ashes. The fans who love her so very much got not even the illusion of mythical closure.
In the weeks and months immediately after AJW went away, her fans were left to console each other on internet forums, read the untrue garbage printed by the vile tabloids, and fend off the psychopathic haters that continued to trash and bash the fabulous megastar in every available venue.
AJW's fans - as did the woman they adore - always move forward and seek to live the dream. That drive has led the Amyites to engage in a variety of 'grief quelling' activities; some mundane and some that will help to forever preserve the music, secure the legend, and construct the philanthropic legacy of their JadeMermaid Princess. Herebelow are detailed a few of the ways that AJW's fans, left to their own devices, have struggled to move forward and break the bonds of grief.
Fans Support Amy Winehouse Foundation
It is almost as though AJW somehow reached back into this realm and caused the Amy Winehouse Foundation to be formed. It is exactly the kind of thing that she would want to do, just to make those she left behind feel a likkle better; it worked.
In all likelihood, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that the opportunity for her fans to get behind the charitable work of the AWF may have actually saved the lives of some of them. Within hours of the foundation going live, a noticeable shift in the depression quotient could be seen and felt. Even the most coping-skill challenged fans seemed to move past the 'I wanna join Amy' mantra and into the camp of those determined to build a philanthropic legacy that would live forever. Many thousands of fans are now dedicated supporters of the AWF and those numbers continue to increase each day.
Sadly, when she was here, even her greatest fans were virtually unaware of her true history as a major supporter of charitable causes. Only very recently has the truth about AJW's quiet generosity started to poke false history in the eye.
Fans Make Online 'Amy Pages'
What began as a flash movement in an awful summer has become a sustained hobby among fans. Hundreds of online 'Amy Pages' serve to inform, remind, entertain, and comfort. The number of pages continues to increase and their audience is building beyond all expectations. The tribute pages have taken on the role of de facto shrines; helping many fans to work through their oppressive pain in a near spiritual fashion.
Fans Help Promote AJW's Music
The efforts of fans to help promote the success of the December 2011 release of Lioness: Hidden Treasures may well have been unprecedented in the record business. Spurred by the $1.60 donation to the AWF from the sale of each CD in some markets, fans constantly pumped LHT on all social media. LHT opened at number one on the charts in many markets and helped boost sales of AJW's previous albums. At one point during the push, Back To Black, became the number one selling album of the 21st century in the UK, with sales of nearly 3.5 million copies.
Whether or not the efforts of fans to promote AJW's music had a meaningful impact on driving sales to historic levels is not really relevant. The fans had a project and it helped them move forward in their ongoing flight from grief.
Fans Support The Musical Career of Mitch Winehouse
AJW's father - Mitch Winehouse - has always been a skilled musician. Now, he has combined his musical talents with his untiring drive to build his daughter's philanthropic legacy. He makes one benefit appearance after another, all over the world; entertaining folks from every generation with his jazz and traditional standard performances.
AJW's fans have taken a serious interest in Mitch and they take great joy in helping to promote his music and live appearances. His memoir, Amy, My Daughter will be released on June 26, 2012 and fans have been working hard to help publicize the volume. All proceeds from Mitch's endeavors accrue to the benefit of the AWF; being a part of his efforts has brought comfort to those who love AJW.
Fans Raise Their Voices Against The Tabloids
Perhaps ashamed of their past failures to properly defend AJW against the biased, vile and corrupt media that vexed and defamed the megastar for years, the most aggressive fans have assumed the role of 'tabloid watchers.' When lies and baseless assaults are made in any media quarter, such fans call out the guilty and argue against the defamers. Such fightback actions certainly came too late, but they are helping fans to cope with their grief, and perhaps their guilt.
Fans Fight Back Against Archaic Disease Chauvinism
A new awareness has swept over AJW's fans regarding the deadly menace of disease chauvinism that creates a stigma of shame and inhibits the prompt and successful treatment of folks suffering from the disease of addiction. The activist fans are expected to soon be busy helping to promote the planned BBC documentary on the subject of addiction. Fans hope that the film, fronted by AJW friend Russell Brand, will confront disease chauvinism head on and help educate people about its corruption and ignorance based notions that continue to harm all of society.
Perpetual Delivery of Fan Tributes to AJW's Home
An impressive project spearheaded by Camden Square Sign facebook page has facilitated fan involvement in what is likely to become a permanent tradition. Fans from around the world send their AJW tributes to CSS and the page admins deliver them to AJW's Camden home. Photographs of the carefully placed tributes are quickly published on facebook. Fans across the globe take tearful comfort in seeing their offerings placed just outside of the famous location. To date, three large tribute deliveries have been accomplished and many more are planned.
Potentially Destructive Depression Among Young Fans
While most fans are reaching outside of themselves and successfully self-directing their grief management schemes, as July 23, 2012 approaches, it would likely be prudent for authority figures to take special care to be observant and understanding of potentially at risk AJW fans. Some such fans are very young and their coping skills are not well developed. Any signs of clinical depression - can't eat, sleep or focus - should be taken seriously, if noted by parents and educators. Such symptoms should be dealt with professionally and in a prompt fashion.
The chances that AJW's adoring fans will ever 'get over' the 2011 outcome are pretty close to none at all. The Tears Dry On Their Own theory is a fairytale. For all who truly love AJW, things changed forever on July 23, 2011 and they are not likely to ever be the same again.
The magnificent memories that the JadeMermaid Princess created for her fans will never perish. The manner in which those fans apply the lessons and the love she left behind will determine the progress and success of their efforts to wash away the pain and keep moving forward. Those fans seem to be doing a likkle better as each new day passes into the next.