When Whitney Houston died, I felt the loss acutely. I called my sister and we reminisced about all the times we belted out her tunes to the car radio. It got to the point where my husband informed me that if he heard me play “The Greatest Love of All” one more time he was going to plug his ears with an ice pick.

That said, I can’t help but wonder if this mother of a Marine killed in Afghanistan, who is complaining that we shouldn’t bestow upon Whitney Houston with the same posthumous honors as her son, doesn’t have a point:

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has ordered flags lowered to half-staff for Houston’s funeral Saturday. As you can imagine, some people are really upset about it. CBS 5 News spoke with one military mom from Arizona.

When Phyllis McGeath‘s son, Phillip, was killed in combat less than a month ago in Afghanistan, Governor Jan Brewer ordered state flags to be lowered in his honor. But now that Houston is set to receive the same honor in New Jersey, McGeath is outraged.

“I felt like the honor that was given to my son was tarnished,” McGeath told our sister station in Arlington, TX, KTVT.

It says a lot about who we choose to honor in death and why. I loved Whitney Houston and her music, but despite possessing an incredible preternatural talent, I’m not sure how she chose to live her life merits an important civic honor. Plenty of people, myself included, will mourn and take note of Houston’s loss regardless of whether the government marks the occasion. And I can certainly understand why a mother would be distressed about how she’d honored by the state in exactly the same way as a son who gave his life defending Houston’s freedom to make bad decisions. What do you think?

Image via Wenn.