With everything that is happening just in my own little life, I haven’t really mourned the death of Mr. Robin Williams yet. I found out about his death at our going-away party in Chicago two weeks ago, mere hours before we packed up the car to head to our new home down south. So the weight of the news was not something I could handle at the time.
We’ve been in our new home for almost two weeks now and yesterday I stopped by the new-to-us grocery store to grab some supplies for dinner. I cut through the magazine aisle—an aisle I don’t think I’ve ever fully utilized in the grocery store. Perhaps one time, in the mid-90’s, I bought an Utne Reader before a long flight I was going to take. Even when buying magazines was a thing, I didn’t really do it. But then I saw his face on the cover of a special Time magazine tribute. And I bought it. I’ve only gotten through one article—too difficult for me to read more than that in one sitting.
From a very early age, he was one of the most inspirational performers for me. I’m sure there are countless actors, improvisers, and comedians who’ve said the same thing. I loved his humor, his originality, his spontaneity, and his heart. Everything he did, he did with sincerity and heart, and that makes all the difference in the world. When a performer shares a piece of himself or herself, a strong connection is made to each individual audience member. I felt a strong connection to Mr. Williams. But I am by no means the only one.
Any suicide is so very hard on the loved ones surrounding that person. There’s always a feeling of betrayal. “But I loved you! Why wasn’t that enough for you? Didn’t you know?” And I am selfish enough to have felt a small pang of that betrayal when I heard of his suicide. But even a casual understanding of addiction and depression tells us that loving someone who suffers from these demons isn’t enough. And it was no secret that he struggled with them for years.
He was so incredibly loved and admired—an amazing performer and human being, a man full of kindness and creativity who brought joy to me, and so many others. But all of that love, all of that admiration we had for him, was still no match for his demons.
May he rest in peace. His work will continue to entertain and inspire others for years to come.