Tyler Perry.com


Whitney. Still Praying.

For many years, I couldn’t turn my ringer off on my phones because my mother was very ill.  My phone would be on all night. This is tough for me because I’m the type of man who loves to be in pure quiet when I’m home. No TV, no radio, no nothing. Just quiet. Mainly because there is so much noise in my life.

After my mother died in 2009, I started turning my ringer off without the fear of missing a very important call. After you lose someone you love, nothing seems very important. So I was at my house in L.A. last year on February 11th, dreading facing February 12th. That would have been my mother’s 67th birthday. I’m always a little sad around that time but that morning started out okay. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get through the 12th. All I had to do was protect my spirit, let me just leave the TV off and turn the ringer off so that I could not be reminded of the grief that I had been enduring.

I decided to turn in early. I was getting in the bed and my cell kept lighting up. So I finally looked at my phone and I had text about Whitney. The one that was most shocking was a friend who said, “Tell me it’s not true.” I immediately knew what that meant. I tried to call Pat, her sister-in-law, but couldn’t reach her. Within a few minutes Pat called me back and asked me to come down to the hotel.

I went to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, got out of the car and I thought it was some kind of sick joke. There were hundreds of people standing around, laughing, drinking and screaming for autographs from celebrities as they arrived for a Grammy party. People were screaming my name and taking pictures as I pushed through the crowd. I went up to the floor and saw the police and coroners outside of the room. I went into the room and Whitney’s family was broken down, inconsolable. We must have been right above the party because there was a glass of water on the nightstand that was vibrating from the bass and the screams below. It was so surreal. Such a juxtaposed position to see this family breaking down and hear laughter and cheers from below us. It really made me think about her life. While her voice brought so much joy, there was so much sadness inside of her.

As I am seeing all these tributes to her on this one-year anniversary of her death, I want you to know something: Whitney was a fighter. She really tried to get herself together. She really tried to overcome. She really wanted to, and I also know that, like me, a lot of you were praying and rooting for her. So, for all of us that were praying for Whitney’s full recovery, for all of us who cared that she was on this planet, for all of us who loved her, I just want you to know that even though she is gone, there are still things that we can do for her. We can keep her daughter and her family lifted up in prayer. We can also pray for other people in this business, especially these young people who come in so bright eyed and eager, only to have it tear at their very souls.

I thank God I didn’t become successful until I was older. The younger you are when you start in this business, the more at risk you are.  Speaking of that, we can also pray for the children of these people. If you only knew what people in this business have to endure to sit in their seat. I’m not asking you to feel sorry for anyone. I’m simply asking you to pray for us all.

God bless. Miss you Whitney.

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  • Sharon Vann-Williams Richmond, VA

    Tyler my prayers are with you. A mother is so very precious! Your letter brought tears my eyes. I love my mother too and she has serious memory issues. Just like you, I long to see her and talk to her. My brother and his family are currently caring for her and do an great job. But for years, I've wanted to relocate her here...even before she became ill. We use to talk every single day and now I don't have that opportunity. I have suggested improvements for her care (to engage her more) and since my sibling were overwhelmed, it was not heard and I was severely blasted! All is well now, but it really did hurt. For the Christmas break God spoke to my heart to go get my dear Mommy and it was awesome! She did more with me than she generally does with others...it was all God. It was not easy, it was a labor of love. I praise God my little son helped out too! I sent you a letter a while ago after my divorce to let you know how much Diary helped me and gave me hope after an abusive marriage. Well, since then I have been working on a career change from Social Work to Education. I even received my M.Ed in 2011! But since my degree did not have a license attached, I still have not been given an opportunity to have a provisional license to teach...so I continue to work as one of the hardest working Instructional Assistants around. I love my school and the awesome children I serve! I come from the urban setting myself (Newark, NJ) and I know that our "poor" children deserve the best...that's why I went back to school (don't even let me tell you of my huge student loan debt...God is able). Needless to say, I have to be more financially set before I can purchase my house and bring my sweet Mommy here to VA. I came close last year, but because my debt to income ratio was not good (my credit is) I could not qualify for a good mortgage. All in God's timing! I know that God is blessing me, since He has given me more teaching opportunities! I have also started a book club at my school and I am working with another class to send their writings to our awesome President! I have so many dreams and I know that as my mind in stayed on Christ, He will provide my every need. Thanks for your witness and I will pray for your heart...mothers can not be replaced. God bless!

  • Mayelyn New York

    God Bless you for being so strong. I am very sorry to hear about your loss, and even more sorry that you had to partake in thise sad last moments of Whitney's tragedy. you are an inspiration and i commend your strength.There has to be a God in this universe to help his children endure so much. Keep being a great inspiration to all.:)

  • Angela Hudsonville, MI

    Mr Tyler, I pray that the Holy Spirit will keep you in his perfect peace during this time of remembering your Mother and Whitney. I believe that you are a man of faith and prayer, so I know that you will agree with me in getting the message out that it doesn't matter what your status is in life or how much money you have. It doesn't matter if people love you or hate you. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, black or white. It doesn't even matter if you say you know Jesus, the most important thing is, DOES HE KNOW YOU??? When you stand before him and tell him all that you have done in his name, will he say "Well done my good and faithful servant" or "Depart from me I never knew you." Sure, we grieve for our love one's when they are gone but let's make sure we take time to talk to them about the Lord while they are here and encourage them to have that relationship with the Lord so we all can see HIM and hear him say, WELL DONE MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. God Bless

  • rebecca hoffmann nigeria

    dear mr tyler, thank you for remembering whitney. its very kind and thoughtful of you. this life is short. i remember whitney's last interview with oprah when she whitney said, she thought her life whitney houston the fancy singer was over, and the tear in her voice. she has charistma and we all from far and wide felt it. to her daughter i say to her ( bobbi it is well, dont worry, continually surround yourself with the right people.)you will survive this ans be and inspiration to other celeb kids. love you girl and thank sir, rebecca

  • About Whitney (from MZDREAMY) LV

    Oops, forgot to tell you who wrote to you.

  • About Whitney LV

    Mr. Perry, I am so sorry you are sad right now. You quickly recognize the sadness in others because you are experiencing it as well. Sorry. I will continue to pray for you and Whitney's family. I didn't expect this coming online to you this morning. God knows... turn the pain over to him. We should really be rejoicing in their lives and not grieve as the world does. They are healed and in the presence of our God! I know, easier said than done. I originally wanted to tell you about how awesome Tamela Mann was in Las Vegas @ the LVH! Wow, wow! I love them! I LOVE YOU MR. PERRY - CHEER UP!

  • Gigi W. MO

    I will certainly pray for Whitney's family. It's hard to lose a love one under any circumstance but unexpectenly is alot harder to deal with. Whitney was a beautiful person inside & out. It's sad that some people only focused on her in a negative light. Forever a Whitney Houston fan!!!

  • Pattie Howard Los Angeles California

    I understand so well. 9 years on the road singing with Whitney, and it's still unbelievable to me, I cannot imagine how Bobbi Kris and the entire family feels. What I've come to understand is Purpose over Imperfection. God's purpose for us, and how that affects the world. It's greater than personal choice, more miraculous than the human mindset, glorious in God's perfect will, and as constant and timeless as eternity. Even in our weaknesses, we cannot deter Purpose, in every moment in our lives that we breathe and serve it's agenda. It's one of the wonders of God's Omniscience, knowing every possible choice we could ever make, good or bad, and yet allowing it to work together for His glory the biggest possible picture. There are places in this world, that because of Whitney, have heard the Gospel, who had never heard it before. I was there. Doors that were never open before are now open for Gospel and Christian music. I saw it happen. Purpose... the gift hidden inside that only reveals it's true self with time. Your purpose, her purpose and every public figure carries the weight of change, and to whom much is given, much is required, so the world will always hold you to a higher standard than it does for itself, however, purpose will always complete it's task, because it is God's will, and our gift from Him, each and everyone of us walks in Purpose, however so imperfectly we walk... we will not leave this earth without lending our part in God's perfect plan. Your letter served it's purpose in my life today, and brought comfort and perspective to the sadness in my heart that my friend and sister is no longer here and I am praying for you and her family. RIP Nippy.

  • Denise

    Mr. Perry, My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time of year. I have shared in the past that it is immortality, and not death. I believe we have the power within to alter our pain into a celebratory time of pleasure. It is such a blessing to have a great teacher who taught you to lean and trust in JESUS in all your understanding. I challenge you in the midst of your tears, to meditate on the blessing and gift of having a beautiful mother you adored. She is always with you and your family and will continue to be proud of all her children. You are the footprints of her living on earth. Live, Love, Laugh and celebrate life! Much love and blessings to you and your family!

  • Ms Proverbs Owings Mills, Maryland

    Tyler, Just wanted to share a few scriptures with you.. Psalm 46:10-11 10) Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth 11) The Lord of hosts is with us the God of Jacob is our refuge..Selah... and Psalm 91:1-2 ...1) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty..2) I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress my God in him will I trust.. Nighty Night, Ms. Proverbs

  • Ms. Proverbs Owings Mills, Maryland

    Hi Tyler, This message speaks volume....Earlier this morning, Can you believe I was watching you speak at Whitney's Funeral? and you was preaching ...Oops I mean speaking from Romans 8:34-39 Your awesome message described Whitney's life, who she was. In spite of all of what she endured Whitney loved the Lord because when she spoke ..what was in her heart (Lord ) would come out of her mouth..She was not ashamed to tell the world she loved Jesus!! I love and miss her so much too.(So many of us) I couldn't sleep when I heard she passed away..My dear sister who we love and miss so much passed away on 09/11 and her birthday is on Feb 18th but only God has carried us through it all only God I can't begin to imagine what you all have to endure in that type of business...the pressure of the media, etc. Thank God many of you are rooted and grounded in the Lord which helps to bring balance in your life. I absolutely agree with you concerning peace and quiet there is nothing like it. Tyler, honestly some states I'm not interested in visiting because it's too fast paced for me..I need quietness and more slower pace...I may be young but I have an old spirit as they tell me..(love my southern country roots) I really do (*_*) It's so important to pray without ceasing for each other ..Especially our youth because they are our future..Will keep you, Whitney's family and those in that type of business uplifted in prayer...By Faith I'm believing that God will continually strengthen, uplift, renew, revive, and restore you, Ms. Cicely, baby girl Bobbi Kristina and family Prayer changes everything...The bible says..'The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much....Tyler aren't you glad that God came to see about you and who is keeping you daily...Oh I can praise God right here right now...just knowing that he brought you through... Ok I'm going to stop here because when I think of his goodness and all that he has done for me "My Soul Cries Out Hallelujah" This is the longest message that I have ever typed on your message board but it was worth it all just to let you know that we are praying for you all..We love you God Loves you more (*_*) Peaceful Rest Sweet Dreamzzzzz Stay Blessed, Ms. Proverbs

  • Tish Nashville

    Beautifully said Mr. Tyler Perry❤ God keep us all❤

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