Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams, From Laughter to Tears

He made me laugh.

He made me laugh harder than anyone ever. He made me laugh to the point where I couldn't catch my breath. And now he's made me cry.

As the first tweet came across last night, I hoped it was another internet hoax, but with the quote from the police, the report from his agent, and the sad words from his wife, it was apparently true.

He was brilliant, watching him doing standup or acting in a film, there was no question he made great use of the voices inside his head. Unfortunately there were the dark voices too. We all have them, when you interact with writers and creative people as much as I do, you realize how many people struggle every day to live alongside them.

I am not a huge movie person, but I will watch "The Birdcage," every time it's on to see him interact with Nathan Lane. And there was "Comic Relief," the charity event he did with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal every year. The improvs between Billy and Robin were so ridiculously surreal, there were times when Whoopi looked as if she was holding on for dear life. But it was Robin who was trying to hold on.

My uncle took his own life several years ago, and until then I hadn't really thought about how suicide affects everyone who knew the person. It shakes you down to your core and makes you question things you knew as the truth. How could we not have seen it coming? How did his heart become so dark that he could not see that he was loved.... that he mattered to us.

Within an hour after his death was reported last night, social media lit up. It seemed 99.9% of the tweets and Facebook postings coming across were expressions of grief. It continued that way for hours. His genius touched the world as a whole, but it touched every one of us as well.

Life is a balance. Was the pain Robin Williams endured through his lifetime the price he paid for the genius of his work? We can't know. We can only graciously accept all he gave us and hope his pain is gone.

"“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”... Robin Williams

Depression Lies. Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Easy journey Robin.



  1. Well done Kath

    A day later, the feelings are the same. I hope this helps someone, including me

    1. thank you Lance. much appreciated coming from your perspective.

  2. Gorgeous tribute Kath. I was so stunned when I first heard, it didn't quite sink in. As the days go by though, I get sadder and sadder. It's sinking in. What a tremendous loss and how heartbreaking to think about what this amazing man went through; even more so as we discover new information about his Parkinson's diagnosis. Damn. Worst Monday ever.

    1. Thanks Linda, it was a very dark day. I wish his wife hadn't disclosed the Parkinson's diagnosis so soon. The mental health issue of what depression really is, and how debilitating it can be was coming to the forefront. Now I'm afraid it will be said the Parkinson's was the reason, not the despair he lived with every day of his life.