Bobbi Kristina On Oprah: Whitney Houston’s Spirit Tells Me To “Keep Going, Baby.”

Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Whitney’s Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, her sister-in-law, Patricia Houston and her brother, Gary Houston, was many things: sincere, touching, eye-opening, heartwarming, heartbreaking. Sad. I raise my hand to admit that I wasn’t sold on the threesome’s sit down on Oprah’s Next Chapter—thought it too soon for them to reveal details of Whitney’s death, too soon for Bobbi Kris to sit on anyone’s couch and speak of the tragic loss of her mother. My bad for doubting Oprah; I should have known that she would handle it with a deft touch. Only she could get the scoop, make us cry and remind the audience of the humanity of Whitney and her family.

There will be many newspapers, TV news shows, websites and blogs recapping what was said in the Oprah interview with Bobbi Kris, et. al.: Whitney was found facedown in the bathtub; it was her hairstylist, Mary, who found Whitney’s body; Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom, is still too distraught to talk to anyone, even Oprah; Patricia insists that despite news reports that Whitney was disheveled and high in the days leading to her death, the singer was too busy and too committed to her engagements to be taking drugs; Patricia thought that it was a younger man, not drugs, that would have ended Whitney’s life; Gary liked Bobby and the family never barred him or told him he shouldn’t go to Whitney’s funeral; Gary can sang with the conviction of Whitney but broke down in uncontrollable tears before he could make it through a gospel-tinged rendition of his sister’s song, “I Look To You.”

All of this is great revelation for Whitney fans who’ve been clamoring to hear what happened in the Los Angeles hotel where the singer died, and certainly the family’s truth on the matter. But I want to focus on something that really touched my heart: Bobbi Kristina’s awareness of her mother’s spirit walking with her.

Bobbi Kristina said that though she couldn’t sleep in the house she shared with her mother the first night after her death, she went back a few days later after her mother’s spirit beckoned her back, saying, “All right, come on home now.”

“I can hear her voice in spirit talking to me, telling me, ‘Keep moving,’ you know? ‘I’m right here—I got you,’” Bobbi Kristina said. “She’s always with me. I can always feel her, I can always feel her with me. That’s all I hear. She always asked me, ‘Do you need me?” One day, I caught myself —I don’t even know why I said it, but I said, ‘I always need you.”

Bobbi Kris went on to say that since her mother died, lights have flickered on and off throughout the house, and she’s awakened every morning at exactly 5 a.m.—the time that her mother used to tell her that saints wake to pray. “I wake up, I look at the clock, it’s 5 o’ clock and I just start praying. I get humble,” Bobbi Kristina said. “She humbles me. I remember what she told me. I remember what she taught me through these 18 years. That’s all that I’ve taken.”

And when she cries for her mother, she hears the voice again: “Come on, keep moving. Keep going. I’m still right there, just not in flesh,” Bobbi Kristina said. “Her spirit is strong, It’s a strong spirit. I feel her pass through me all the time.”

Ironically, Whitney’s mother, Cissy, wrote about Whitney’s spirit in a letter she penned to her daughter and had printed in the memorial service programs. In it, Cissy writes that the afternoon Whitney died, before she knew her daughter had passed, the doorbell to her apartment kept ringing—so much so that Cissy asked the building concierge to review tapes to see who the culprit was. But there was no one on the tapes or in the hallway. “You promised me you were coming to spend time with me after the Grammy’s” Cissy wrote. “I believe the spirits allowed you to come after all.”

It is these things that brought tears to my eyes.

Of course, this may be hard to comprehend for someone who isn’t a believer in spirits or eternal life—or even someone who simply hasn’t experienced the passing of someone whose heart is so incredibly intertwined with their own. But I can say with all certainty that as a daughter who lost her mother, I connected instantly with what Bobbi Kris was saying—knew that, even as it might sound crazy to a bunch of folk, what she spoke of is real. The night my mother was transitioning, I woke out of a sound sleep at the exact time that she died. And for months after, I dreamed about her, until the one dream when we gave her a going away party. She was dressed in white, with her shock of red hair—curly and beautiful, just like Whitney Houston’s—perfectly coiffed. She looked happy. And I woke up satisfied that she was safe in His arms.

Two years later, on Mother’s Day, while Nick and my girlpies were in the kitchen making me breakfast, I woke to the smell of my mother’s scent—a very specific scent that I hadn’t smelled since she’d passed. We were in a new house, you see, in the South, with no one but each other. I was scared of the prospects—whether I could make it as a freelancer and author; whether the school the kids were in would be good enough; whether our move to the South was a smart decision. I’m a worrier. My heart was heavy. And then, like that, there Mommy was. Her scent was as welcome as the sunrise, thick as a heavy rain. You couldn’t tell me that my mother wasn’t in the room with me—wasn’t loving on me and praying for me and telling me that she was okay and that I would be, too. She smelled so damn good. I cried and laughed all the same. It was one of the most beautiful things that’s ever happened to me. I’ll never, ever forget it. Or my mother.

I’ve long hesitated sharing this story out of fear that people would think I was crazy. But it is my truth.

So if there was anything that I could take away from Bobbi Kristina’s interview with Oprah, it is knowing this: Bobbi Kristina and Whitney Houston had an unshakeable bond—the kind that comes only between a mother and her child. And while we may have lost Whitney, Bobbi Kristina did not. Her mother is right there by her side. In this, she can take solace. Whitney’s got her.


1. As Whitney Houston’s Funeral Nears, We Celebrate Her Life—And Remember That She Was Us
2. Whitney Houston Will: Bobbi Kristina Brown Is Sole Heir To Her Mom’s Fortune
3. Jennifer Hudson’s Grammy Awards Tribute To Whitney Houston (Video)
4. Whitney Houston Dies At 48—A Sad Farewell To An Icon We Absolutely Adore

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. You made me cry!

  2. Thank you for sharing. I too have lost my mother and have had similar experiences. Thank you. Your words are what I needed at this very moment.

  3. Count me in as one you made cry. Goodness, it is too early for all this! 🙂 *blows nose* *looks for more Kleenex* *rereads post and cries again*

    But in all seriousness, yes, you could tell that Bobbi Kristina and Whitney had a great bond. Unbreakable, even in death. So powerful.

  4. I haven’t yet watched the full interview, but I look forward to later this evening. Thank you for sharing your personal story. I most certainly believe in the spiritual realm. How could we not? In fact God is a spirit. So anyone who doesn’t believe in spirits denies the existence of God and that is just ridiculous.

    I had a similar experience with a loved one although I wasn’t close to him. My now husband’s grandfather died shortly after we started dating. I had literally met the man all of two times. Well over the next few years, we moved in together and got engaged. The night we were engaged, I had a very vivid dream that my husband’s grandfather embraced me in a hallway in our home and welcomed me into the family. I don’t remember him saying anything, but he was clearly pleased that I was becoming part of the family. I know believe he knew that I would need to care for my husband and be there for him as I am now. I still remember it as if it happened yesterday thought it was nearly 6 years ago. I thank God for those moments with our loved ones. They sustain us and will us forward in life even when we don’t want to. Thanks again for sharing and reviving that memory in me.

  5. The Chi Lites Son Darren

    It’s not about responsibility but duty when it comes to abuse to anyone it is the duty of all that includes, even yes yours truly Oprah Winfery.

    It’s not an unaware issue about the deaths of so many legendary black entertainers in the words of an ignorant idea I got mine get yours.

    I got a little news for you someone helped even yes even Oprah Winfery anyone who forgets who help them and were they came from needs to quickly remember they could be back were they came from.

    And if she forgets she will be back their like you are anyone else you don’t forget. Their never be a apology from any one asking for Oprah Winfery’s help PS

    P S Oprah and you and her staff should remember that if you’re not going help don’t pretend are play like it on TV to get ratings.

    Don’t ask million of people to give Oprah Winfery any money if she does not want to use it to help those who are in need and asses.

    Tens of millions are give to Oprah every year to Angel Network why take the money if Oprah Not going to use it in the USA where it is given.
    If it is given in the United States it should be use for the needy in the United States!!!

    Oprah Don’t takes the money if you’re not going to help Son Darren of the Chi Lites and the legendary black entertainers in your own field that are homeless because of abuse and Corruption and racism.

    Just give back if you’re not going to use it to help poor families in the USA and inner City Children at risk that the low life that wrote their uncovering statements obviously doesn’t care a lick about right.

    If you can spend 40 million on a vacation for your spoiled staff I think you can find time to help!!!!!

    There will be no Apology from me are anyone who speak the truth out!!!!
    Tell that to the dead legendary black entertainers who died in poverty and legacy abuse
    like Sammy Davis Jr., Creadel Jones from the Legendary Chi Lites, Jackie Wilson, Muddy Waters, and Florence Ballard from the Supremes ,
    I wonder but do I really really need to are anyone else if the shoe was on Oprah Winfey’s foot would Oprah Winfery are her greedy staff still think the same way If they needed help from legacy exploitation and abuse that cause Oprah Winfery and staff to be poor are homeless would Oprah’s selfish Idea still be thought and used by her and her staff. Oprah I Got Mine You Get Yours I know with those Ideas you must be really help those poor in Africa Yeah Right!!!!!!
    What a taxes scam HON Oprah Winfery for a person that gets over 260,000,000 dollars a year you had to come up with something hum? Can’t wait until January taxes roll around you and your staff can pretend Africa is your interest hoping that the IRS along are believes that lye for how long hum THAT”S THE REAL QUESTION HUM?

    Help Africans yea right you can’t even help legendary black icons who have been forced in poverty from corruption and abuse to black legendary icons.

    Oprah and staff keep the bad non work and I got mine you give me your so I can have more Angle Network up!!!!!!!!!!

  6. The Michael Jackson And Whitney Houston And Oprah New Music Project!

    Project Presented By The Legendary Chi Lites Son Darren Cubie

    The Chi Lites Musician And Co Founder Son Darren Cubie And His Contact Info (323) 308-7044 Email:
    Part 1

    Families like ours and other legendary entertainment black entertainers and icons are in an entrapmentof excruciating relentless abuse after being forced sometimes homelessand in poverty after black legendary entertainers revenues are mistreated are exploited this has caused many legendry black entertainers to be in a depressed compromising state. I have reflected in this future project proposal to develop an alterative to the abusive issues and state of black legacies and legendary iconic American entertainment iconic legacies and their children some of which have little choice but to be victim by these exploitational record companies.
    I believe you will realize from my partcipation and my face book pages and my long respected work and the former web sites and myspace page as well as my dedication and long knowedge in this most challenging iportant field. I also think that a new government bill can be created in the name of Oprah Winfery and Whitney Houston to stop the exploitation of legendary entertainers an musicians and to protect the greatest iconic legendary american entertainers of all time in the world.
    Please Help Stop ExploitationGet Involed!

    Apart A: The reconsolidation of the exploitation of legendary exploited entertanment legacies and thier family legendary iconic black and american legacies, Allowing the origanal record companies owners and famlies of the origainal familes of the owners of some of the worlds biggest exploitational and abusive record labels and all of the current owners reconsolidation the contriversal exploitation abuse in which brought these legendary enterrtainers into poverty and homelessness and abuse and welfare and returning money and respect to the biggest exploited icons in entertainment and music and tv film in the history of entertainment.

    B: Inviting the Familes of exploited iconic legendary black entertainers that have been left inpoverty and helping them regin respect honer and life back into these legendary iconicjellys of american culture and world jems.

    From The Chi LitesSon Darren Cubie.

    Thank You!

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