USMagazine, Monday, February 20, 2012, 9:08am (PST)
Even though the tragic loss of a parent happens every day around the world, it's not often that the loss is publicly mourned by millions.
Which is exactly what Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown has been going through since the Feb. 11 death of her mother, Whitney Houston, when the music icon was found dead in a bathroom inside her Beverly Hills hotel room.
At the time, Bobbi Kristina was standing in for her mother at a photo shoot Houston was scheduled to take part in. After going to find out what was keeping Houston, the 18-year-old returned "distraught and crying."
"Bobbi Kristina broke down. Her mama died. Nobody expected Whitney to pass as quickly as she did," relative Billy Watson, brother of Houston's long-time bodyguard Ray, tells the new issue of Us Weekly.
The night before, Bobbi Kristina, who had just finished high schook, had hit a bar with her mother. "Whitney and Bobbi Kristina always partied together," says a source. "They were like best friends more than mother and daughter."
But on February 18, Bobbi Kristina had to attend the 3 1/2-hour funeral of her mother, seated next to her grandmother, Cissy Houston.
Once the ceremony had wrapped, the teen disappeared for several hours and shut off her cell phone. Given the stress she's been under (she was rushed to the hospital and treated for stress hours after her mother passed), loved ones panicked and went searching for her.
Sources tell Us, Bobbi Kristina (Houston's only daughter with ex-husband Bobby Brown), is taking the bereavement extremely hard. The teen idolized her mother and wanted to be an actress and singer just like her. But as she modeled her mother's full-throttle lifestyle, some friends and family worry about the girl and are hoping she won't spiral out of control.
As a confidant explains to Us, "She saw her parents partying and started doing it herself."
That dynamic, says another insider, was causing Houston "heartbreak."
To read more about Whitney's last days, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.