If you had said to me, just one mere week ago, that Robin Williams would drive himself to death as a result of severe depression, I would not have believed you for a moment. Whenever I thought of his name, a cheery, warm, exceptionally talented person sprang to mind. The very first film I ever saw in the cinema was Mrs. Doubtfire and he always struck me as the kind of man that many would love to have as a father figure. Tragically, for his family, friends and the world, despite his talent and overwhelming success, the horror that is depression affected him to such a degree that he felt there was no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope.
Losing someone to suicide is not like losing someone to a physical illness or an accident. You have to come to terms with the fact that they chose to leave everything and everyone behind. You have to accept that depite the signs, no one did enough to help them in order for them to help themselves. You have to accept that they felt so dark, the felt the only option was to take their own life and that in itself never, ever gets easier for those that they leave behind. In the aftermath of suicide, emotions turn from grief to anger, anger at how 'selfish' the victim was to have taken themselves away from the people who loved them most. But what people must, must understand is that suicide is a consequence of illness, not selfishness. Here are the things that Robin Williams' death has taught us all.
1) Life Is Short. Embrace Every, Single Second
Instead of wishing away the days until the weekend, instead of complaining about the weather, instead of crying about being broke, why not appreciate the fact that you're alive, you're well, you have family and friends who love you. Appreciate those around you, cliched as this may seem, because you'll never know when someone will be snatched away from you and this will turn your life completely upside down and inside out, as Williams' family are now discovering.
2) A Funny Facade Does Not Reflect Ones Inner Thoughts
Robin Williams was a comedian, a genius in his art, a funny man, an actor. People knew him as the kind one who made people laugh. The comedy greats are sometimes the most unhappy people in the world. Williams had apparently been battling depression for many years, which makes the fact that he made the rest of the world laugh the whole way through his own battle all the more selfless and tragic.
3) Wealth Does Not Equal Happiness
As the saying goes, your health is your wealth and my, do we now know this to be true. A Hollywood star in his own right, Williams was successful, established and wealthy, but I'm sure that he would have traded it all in for a healthy state of mind, in an instant. Some of the happiest people in the world are the ones with the least. Money is disposable, life is not.
4) Making People Laugh Makes The World A Better Place
Laughter is the best medicine, it's just such a sad thing that Williams didn't find the cure for his ailment within himself. His family and legion of friends and fans have spoken about his love for making others laugh, it was his passion, his talent and it helped so many people, if even for a moment, just to have a laugh with Robin and to forget their own problems. Laughter makes the world go round.
5) People Will Always Appreciate A Kind Heart
People have spoken about how utterly kind a spirit that Williams was. He treated those around him with kindness, love, respect. His on-screen daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire wrote an open letter today, telling the world how, during the shooting of the film, her school kicked her out and when she told Williams of this, he wrote a letter to her school, explaining why they should take her back. She wrote about how kind of a gesture this was to her and how she will always be grateful to him for this act. It shows us all that a kind heart goes a long way and is never under appreciated.
6) Someone, Somewhere, Is Fighting A Tough Battle Every Day
The next time you find yourself bitching about that person, throwing a dirty look at someone, complaining about a friend who's being a little 'off', just ask yourself why they're acting in this way. Is it a personal attack on you? Or is that a totally self obsessed thought to have? After all, to those not in the know, I'm sure Williams' seemed to be a happy, content person and not one with such dark inner demons. Those who are suffering the most, hide it the best, so if a friend seems a little withdrawn to you then talk to them. You'd never know, your words could make all the difference.
7) Your Family Will Always Have Your Back
In the wake of Williams' death, his family have come out and spoken about the wonderful person that he was, the great husband, the great father. They were there for him when he was alive and are there to protect his name and memory, now that he is gone. Your family will never turn their backs on you, you're theirs, by blood, by name, by love. If the going gets tough, get going to your family. I'm only sure that Robin Williams' family wish that he had come to them instead of making his heartbreaking exit from the world.