I was astounded when I heard the news of the apparent suicide of comedian and actor Robin Williams this week.
I was a huge fan of his. I have to say that of all of his accomplishments, Good Morning America and Mrs. Doubtfire were two of my favorite movies with Hook a close third. He was a quick witted, talented, intelligent and giving man and loved by many, many fans. He certainly knew how to get a belly laugh out of his audience – and his friends.
A long-time friend of Christopher Reeve, he was there for his friend when tragedy struck in 1995 and with his irrepressible personality Robin stood by him through the terrible time after Reeve’s accident. Family members said he was the first one to make Reeves laugh in the hospital, when he arrived posing as a proctologist. Reeve said that’s when he knew he would be okay. After Reeve died, as board members of the Reeve Foundation, Williams and his former wife, Marsha Garces, were tireless in their fundraising efforts aimed at researching spinal cord injuries and improving quality of life for people living with paralysis.
An internet post said, “When Reeve died in 2004, Williams was there to console the actor’s family. And on Tuesday, the Reeve family mourned the loss of their good friend at the age of 63.”
To say Robin Williams was talented is actually a complete understatement and it is sad that his life had to end so soon, when he still had so much of life and his unique zany personality left to offer to everyone.
News reports say he had struggled all through his long career with substance abuse and terrible bouts of depression. How sad that it all led to this horrible end.
Depression is a terrible thing and we all have suffered from bouts of it from time to time, myself included. Sometimes when you wake up in the middle of the night with what seems like insurmountable problems surrounding you, it is hard to think of a reason to keep going, and sadly, some people simply can’t.
It brought back personal memories. I know about this personally because my nephew, who also suffered with depression, ended his own life about seven years ago, leaving a grieving family including parents, six siblings, many nieces and nephews, close friends and all the rest of us, all still wondering why?
His pain is gone, but the pain he left behind is still there. How could he do this? In the aftermath, we all asked ourselves that question. His closest family members didn’t realize what he was going through at the time. He didn’t leave a note, so I guess we will never know the answer, but he is gone now and still missed much by those of us left behind to face the tragedy of his death.
We all seem to go through some terrible times in our lives, and most of us manage to make it through the toughest things. The death of a family member or close friend, and personally, we have lost several over the years, is probably the hardest to make it through and a suicide is probably the worst death for the ones left behind to deal with because that question, “Why?” is always there.
I guess we simply have to accept what happened; to try to remember them; the good times we shared with them and the things about them that we loved the best. The healing takes time.
That’s the only solace available for the family and friends of Robin Williams now.
A friend and former writer for the Review, Shelley Burgess said in a Facebook post, “To Mr. Williams: Thank you for sharing your humor, your wisdom, your humanity with the rest of us – for allowing us to get lost in your witty characters, while a darker battle raged inside of you. You will be dearly missed. Sleep well …”
Well said Shelley!