- Associated Press - Monday, March 12, 2012

In her first interview since Whitney Houston’s death, daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown said she is “doing as good as I possibly can” and recalled the tender last moments she shared with her superstar mother before her sudden death last month.

“She’s always with me,” said the 19-year-old, Houston’s only child and sole heir. “Her spirit is strong, it’s a strong spirit. I feel her pass through me all the time.”

Miss Brown made the comments in a Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey on Miss Winfrey’s network, OWN, that also featured Pat Houston, the singer’s manager and sister-in-law, and Gary Houston, the brother of Whitney Houston.

Miss Brown credited her family and God for helping her cope since her mother’s death on Feb. 11 at the age of 48.

“It comes in waves. One moment I can be happy and laughing, but then it comes over me. It’s my mom,” she said.

Houston, who struggled with drugs and alcohol in the past but, according to family, apparently had been clean, was found in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on the eve of the Grammys. She was to attend a pre-Grammy party the night she died.

Miss Brown said that the night before her mother’s death, she asked Houston to spend the night with her.

“I slept in her arms all day, all night long,” said Miss Brown, whose father is singer Bobby Brown.

Pat Houston said that in the days before Houston died, the singer had not been abusing drugs, despite reports that she was acting erratically. She said an event she attended two days before her death where Houston looked disheveled was particularly difficult because the legendary performer got into a verbal spat with a former contestant on “The X Factor.” Pat Houston would not name the woman, but Stacy Francis has said she and Houston had words that night.

Pat Houston said Miss Francis “made herself present everywhere we were,” unnerving Houston and leading to an argument.

The day of her death had been uneventful, her manager said. Houston had lunch in her hotel and was preparing for her mentor Clive Davis’ annual party. Houston was scheduled to tape an infomercial and other interviews that day.

Pat Houston went out to run errands for about a half-hour. When she came back, Houston’s assistant went to check on the singer.

“When I headed down the hallway [to her room], I heard screaming,” she said.

When Pat Houston arrived in the room, she saw the singer’s security guard frantically trying to revive her ahead of the paramedics. He told her: “I tried.”

Pat Houston said the singer had “a peaceful look on her face.” The cause of Houston’s death has not been revealed.

The 90-minute television special also touched on the singer’s ex-husband, Mr. Brown, who had a tumultuous marriage with Houston. Although some have accused Mr. Brown of introducing Houston to drugs, leading to the downfall of the once-pristine singer, Pat Houston said that was untrue.

Pat and Gary Houston had warm words for Mr. Brown.

“I loved Bobby Brown. Bobby was a good guy,” said Gary Houston, the late singer’s elder brother. “I don’t know how good they were for each other.”

They also denied that the Houston family asked Mr. Brown to leave her funeral service or didn’t want him to come. Mr. Brown showed up briefly but left after a dispute over seating.

“Bobby was supposed to be there,” Gary Houston said.

Pat Houston said Mr. Brown and his daughter have a relationship, but indicated that they hadn’t spoken since at least Houston’s funeral.

Miss Brown said she planned to carry on her mother’s legacy and become a singer, as well as act and dance. She expressed frustration over the “negativity” surrounding her mother’s image: “That’s not my mother.”

Instead, she described her as her confidante, a sister, her best friend - “my everything.”

She still spends time in the house she and her mother shared, and at times said it’s hard to believe Houston is not there.

“Sometimes, it’s so surreal. I still walk into the house like, ‘Mom?’ ” she said. “But I’ve accepted it.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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