Cissy Houston is telling close friends ... she cried hysterically when she first heard about the Coroner's findings -- that white powder (which we know tested positive for cocaine), a drug spoon and other trappings of drug use were found in the hotel room.
Cissy says her biggest fear is that people will now remember her daughter as a druggie, and not a talented singer and family woman.
Cissy singled out Whitney's performance of the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl, saying, "This is the type of thing people should remember Whitney for."
Cissy added, "No one's perfect. Only the Lord can judge."