As news reports on Facebook, twitter, blogs, TV shows and the news are now in the millions by now, I still want to add my thoughts to my own blog about the very tragic death of Robin Williams and what he meant to mine and my girls’ lives.
I was just heartsick to learn of his suicide yesterday (which was also on the 16 month day of my Kaitlyn’s suicide). I first became aware of Robin Williams in his role of Mork on “Mork and Mindy.” I was around 18 years old when that came out. Then he went on to do numerous movies for the big screen. He fully became ingrained into our systems when my two daughters Stephanie and Kaitlyn were children. Oh there was the Disney animation of “Aladdin” with him playing the genie which was nothing less than genius. There was “Mrs. Doubtfire” which I’m sure that my girls must hold the world record of the number of times it was watched by anyone. Many of his lines are still forever in my mind…..”It was a run by fruiting!!” When Kaitlyn became a teenager we all became aware of his more serious roles such as our favorites, “Good Will Hunting” “What Dreams May Come” “Dead Poets Society” and “Patch Adams” just to name a few. He could play a serious role every bit as well as a funny role.
And his humor was unlike any I’ve ever seen before. He was like a funny train that just could not stop. But he did stop.
When Kaitlyn died his movies even took on even more significance as they did before. With “Good Will Hunting” he was the psychologist trying to help this young genius who was rebellious and did not want to reach his potential because of his past. In “Dead Poets Society” he was a teacher and it was about poetry and how much meaning and importance it has in one’s life. Kaitlyn loved poetry. In “What Dreams May Come” he played a man who lost his two children in an auto accident, then HE gets killed leaving his wife alone and depressed. She ultimately took her life and he left to “save her….” Kaitlyn loved this movie. I think she loved the romance of it, how someone could love someone so much to take such measures to save the one they loved. I don’t think she focused on the suicide, which this movie portrayed as anything but something that should be done. I never really liked the movie all that well as I told Kaitlyn I just thought it was too weird. But she loved it. It was the DVD that was left in her DVD player when I brought it home from her apartment after she died.
So, Robin Williams meant a lot to me and to my girls for many, many reasons. I know some people criticize that everyone is now acting like we actually knew him personally, that we didn’t truly know him and have no right to act as if we do. But there is nothing wrong with admiring someone so much that we mourn their loss, whether we knew them personally or not.
I have always known that Robin Williams suffered from mental illness but I always thought it was bipolar disorder. No one is mentioning now that he had this. Maybe I was misinformed. But we do know for sure he suffered from depression, and strangely not many seemed to know that even though he never hid that fact and talked about it numerous times.
There is only one positive that has come out of his death, and I hesitate to say there is anything positive about it at all. I had much rather it had not happened to him, to my daughter, or to anyone else. But I have found now that depression and bipolar disorder are now being talked about VERY freely since this happened to him. And what’s more, there is CORRECT information being given out there about depression and what it really is; a disease, a serious one that can kill you, NOT a weakness. Also that suicide can strike anyone that has these illnesses no matter who you are, how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how intelligent and gifted you are, no matter how bright your future, no matter your race, gender or social status. It can happen to ANYONE.
And no, it’s not that Robin Williams was more important than anyone else that has taken their own life, but perhaps his fame will help spread the truth about depression and more people will feel freer to seek help. I think he would like that.
I am saddened by his loss. There will never be another like him.
And Robin (if I may be so bold as to call you by your first name), please say hi to my daughter Kaitlyn for me.
Just a very few of my favorite scenes from some of his movies:
Below: Mrs. Doubtfire
Next two below…love the skeleton scenes in Patch Adams:
Below: Dead Poets Society
Below: Good Will Hunting
And finally, though there is so much more….there’s “Aladdin.” This is fantastic.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams.