How much tragedy can one person take? The world watched in sadness as Bobbi Kristina Brown lost her beloved mother Whitney Houston three years ago, but RadarOnline.com has learned that the young woman’s heartbreak was compounded by even more shocking losses after that.
Not only did her best friend Chelsea Bennett die of a heroin overdose last March, as Radar first reported, but another close friend, Shelby Derrington, passed away suddenly at 21 years old just months later!
According to Shelby's mom, the young woman died last August due to bleeding on her brain. Doctors didn’t find drugs in her system, but linked her death to a concussion she suffered in a traumatic car accident a year before.
At the time, Bobbi Kristina penned a chilling tribute, unaware she would be brain dead herself just months later: “JammN in myhouse, Undies;Tshirt,Combats sanginn&dancin like theres no2moro(:Enjoy YOURLife. Its shorter then YoudEVERthink —> RIPMyShelbyD!” she wrote last August.
Now, Bobbi Kristina’s hospitalization after she was found unconscious in a bathtub on Jan. 31 has been almost too much to bear for Debbie.
“I’m grieving so much for Shelby that I don’t know how long it will take to see light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. "I’m sad that Krissi has possibly tried to take her own life because she wanted to be with her mom.”
But Debbie says her daughter gave no indication anything was seriously amiss with Bobbi Kristina – and never mentioned drug use — or worse.
“Krissi was still depressed about losing her mom,” Debbie claimed. "But Shelby never said anything about her being suicidal.”
“I don’t think anyone knows what happened and we may never know. There’s lot of money involved and people who want to get their hands on it.”
In the meantime, Debbie prefers to remember the innocent teenager she tried to help cope with her family’s very public dysfunction.
“Krissi stayed at our house a lot because things were not that normal at home,” she said. “So she stayed a lot at our house, sometimes six days at a time."
“I think she just wanted some normalcy. I would make dinner and I’d say ‘Do you need to go home and let your mom and day know you’re here?’ And she’d simply say ‘No, it’s okay.’"
“They lived a different life than most people, and not like us and that’s why Krissi came over,” continued Debbie, adding that she met the girl's famous parents at school during chorus concerts and when she dropped Bobbi Kristina off at home. “We sat down as a family, rented movies, made popcorn. I think that’s why she liked being there. And I was that kind of mother."
“Her aunt lived in neighborhood close by and she’d go get money from her and I’d take the girls shopping and I’d get to know her as a 13-year-old.”
And when it came to Bobbi Kristina's relationship with her pseudo-adopted brother-turned-so-called husband Nick Gordon, the young couple told those closest to them they were married, despite recent revelations they were not husband and wife.
“I know they had talked about getting married and we thought they had. They told Shelby they were married,” Debbie said. “She said they seemed like they were doing great. They had a great condo."
“I feel bad for Nick now that’s he’s in a position to be pushed away from her family because I think he did love her and she loved him,” she continued. "Nick was everything to her in the last few years.”
And Debbie can empathize with the heartbreaking decision the Browns and Houstons may have to make at the end of the week.
“I don’t know if it makes it any easier if you have a couple weeks to prepare or it happens instantly,” she said. “I just know that when you lose a child who’s only 21 years old it’s the most horrible thing to go through and I feel bad for their family because I understand. Our family has just been living in hell.
“When I heard about her going into the hospital and possibly dying it just made me feel so bad for them because I know how much it hurts.”