Hard To Say If Sinead O’Connor Ever Found What She Was Looking For

I never met the late Sinead O’Connor, who died Wednesday at the too-young age of 56. Like millions of others, I thought she had a terrific voice, and you had to admire how she considered speaking out more important than a traditionally successful career. At the same time, she said she felt her career became more successful, or more consistent with what she really wanted, after she ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live in 1992 — as a protest against child abuse in the Catholic Church — and declared, “Fight the real enemy.”

She went through four marriages, converted to Islam and told Oprah, among others, that she suffered from mental illness, which she would eventually explain was really post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) triggered by the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother and others as a child. Against that backdrop, you hoped for O’Connor what you hoped for anyone who faced traumatic challenges: that amidst all that, there were moments of contentment and peace. The closest I got to seeing any clues came on Oct. 16, 1992, the day O’Connor appeared at the Bob Dylan tribute concert in Madison Square Garden… read more >

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