Robin William’s death has hit our family hard, as I’m sure it has many people. So many people loved him, he was a kind, generous man, who could make anyone laugh, simply with his body language and facial expressions, even if they didn’t completely understand the story of the movie (as when our two children watched Mrs. Doubtfire.)
Robin William’s has long been my husband’s favorite actor, and his suicide is a personal loss to my dear husband, who also uses humor to connect with others, and who recognizes much of his life in Robin William’s own, as you will read in his post: http://grimmjest.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/the-sad-clown/
I have also struggled for all of my adult life with varying degrees of depression. From 18 years and on I have lived through periods of severe depression, requiring hospitalization and more medications than any one person should take, to slight sadness punctuated with panic attacks. I too struggled with addiction – Robin Williams fought the desire to drink for 20 long years- an amazing feat for anyone that knows the daily struggle that any type of substance abuse, addiction and recovery brings. He woke up each morning and fought the desire to drink, to numb the depression he felt. He tried to keep people laughing even though on the inside the last thing he felt like doing was laughing.
Like my husband, I was brought up in a sheltered, protective home. In my case this was due to the fact that I was born very premature, with mild cerebral palsy and with an immune system which has always been weak. When I grew up and moved out, the real world slapped me around quite a bit- there were many poor decisions made on my part, out of naivety and the thought that other people surely must be nice, just like (for the most part) the people I grew up with. Forgive the foul language, but I was bitch-slapped by the world- by abuse, sexual assault, postpartum depression, poverty and now a three year long horrific rare disorder- because of my foolish notion that the world was filled with nice people. It is, but it also contains some truly awful individuals, who prey on the weak. I fought addictions and depression, and fought as hard as I ever have in my life to get back on my feet, run away from all the bad, and embrace my life, complete with the pain, each day because I wake up surrounded by the family I love.
I understand Robin William’s pain and depression. This is not to say I know the battles he fought each day, but I have lived through much of the same things that caused his depression, and ultimately lead him to take his own life. Like my husband I wish there was something we could have done. Would it have helped to write a letter before now saying, “I know. I understand. I fight similar demons, but you can too, and you can survive. The world loves you, even if you don’t love yourself.” I realize when one makes the decision to end their own life, there is not a whole hell of a lot anyone can do to talk them out of it. I imagine his family did. I hope other actors did. At the very least I hope he knew how incredibly loved he was. He changed so many people’s lives and made so many people laugh, even when they were depressed and fighting addictions like he was. He had a rare gift, he was an amazing, unique man, and I am so, so sorry he is gone. I hope he finds the peace and happiness in death that he could not find in life. Good-bye Robin Williams, and thank you for all the joy you gave us. We miss you already.