Monday, August 11, 2014

In Memoriam... Robin Williams

I was working on a podcast when I got a tweet notification on my phone from breaking news that Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide. I looked at the tweet and it didn't register right away. I re-read it several times before it sunk in. Robin Williams was dead.

I immediately jumped on twitter and Facebook to get more details in hopes this was one of the those stupid celerity fake death hoax, but more and more news feeds were announcing it and my heart sank. Tears started falling as I read tweet after tweet about the death of Robin Williams, suicide, depression, mental illness and addictions.

Unfortunately Celebrities die, they are only human but I don't recall having this gut wrenching, overwhelming sorrow and uncontrollable tears for a celebrity in recent years. Yes I'm sad when a celebrity dies but not to this degree. The last time I felt this way was when John Ritter died in 2003.

I grew up watching Robin Williams as Mork from Ork, I was 8 when it started and 12 when it ended. I watched it religiously and adored this crazy alien guy. I had the action figures and dolls when I was a kid and use to play with them all the time.

Over the years I have enjoyed his TV appearance as well as his many, many movies with some of my favorites being Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Dead Poet Society, Patch Adams and Aladdin. I was thrilled when I heard he was coming back to TV last year with The Crazy Ones and was heart broken when I heard that the freshman series was not being picked up by CBS for another season.

I never got to meet Mr. Williams or see him do his stand up live but he seemed like he would have been the nicest guy in the world. And from the thousands of tweets that I have read within the last few hours it would seem that statement would be correct.

I think one of the main reasons this has shocked so many people is that he took his own life. If he had died of natural causes, though it would be sad, it wouldn't have been so tragic. It was well known that he suffered from depression and addiction, but was on the mend. He had been clean and sober for a while now and his career was on a upswing (not that it ever really dwindled). He had a beautiful wife and three amazing kids. He should have been on top of the world... and from the outside looking in... he was. But that's the problem with depression, though there can be outward signs, most of it is internal and can't be seen, only felt.

I have dealt with and continue to deal with depression everyday. I deal with feelings of sadness, loneliness, fatigue, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness and overeating that depression can cause, the feeling that it will never get better, that this is how I will spend the rest of my life. But I am fortunate that suicide has never crossed my mind, I work hard at not letting these feeling overwhelm me. Some days it works.. some days it doesn't, but I will continue to fight this battle for the rest of my life.

Robin Williams lost his battle... and the world weeps.

Thank you Mr. Williams for the millions of laughs you have given me and will continue to give me for the rest of my life. You are a Legend among us mere mortals, one that will truly be missed.

Rest in Peace...

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