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Monday, July 23, 2012

Memorializing Amy Winehouse

 Amy died on July 23, 2011 at her London home from accidental alcohol poisoning.

On the day of Amy Winehouse's funeral, as her family and friends gathered at a synagogue in north London, a steady stream of people came to visit the makeshift shrine outside her house in Camden Square.

The memorial left by her adoring fans:

"They were not alone in their distaste. Around the world, people saw the jumble of bottles and cans, half-filled with lurid pink wine and warm beer, and took this as a cruel slight against the woman whose life – and perhaps her death – was defined by drink and drugs."

But I don't think the offerings were meant to be cruel; they were meant to be defiant, a cheeky middle finger up to fate. How odd and hypocritical would it have been if we had pretended that in death Amy Winehouse was something she wasn't in life?

A shrine made of lace pillows and copies of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetry might be more picturesque, but would hardly honour the irreverence of a woman who once stopped an interview to say, “Oh – I've gobbed on myself.”

Memorializing Amy: Ashes to ashes, booze and butts - The Globe and Mail