Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yet Another Essay in the Wake of Robin Williams' Death

In stark contrast to yesterday's lighthearted post, I'm getting deep today. If you're on Facebook or Twitter, no doubt your feed blew up Monday night and Tuesday with the news of the apparent suicide of Robin Williams. I've read countless tributes and opinions and blog posts.

Robin Williams was an incredible, unique talent who will live on in his comedic and dramatic work. I don't know that I can choose a favorite. From Mork and Mindy to The Birdcage to Dead Poets Society to Good Will Hunting to Mrs. Doubtfire. The list goes on. One of his movies that affected me the most was Awakenings, although I don't know if I could see it again. I bawled watching that movie. I bawled after watching that movie. 

As with  many celebrity deaths, people are quick to say "why is there so much attention to depression NOW, just because somebody famous committed suicide?" First of all, be glad there isn't so much attention when it's someone you love. Now that new details are coming out about Williams' death, I'm disgusted by some of the judgments I've read regarding his private life.

The good thing that can come out of all the attention is awareness. And I'm not just talking about the awareness of family and friends. My hope is for people struggling with addiction and/or mental illness to realize that admitting the need for help is NOT a sign of weakness; it's seeking treatment for a terrible disease. But healing cannot be achieved until the afflicted decide they want help.

I can't know the depths of Robin Williams' illness, but I'm sad that he lost his battle with it, just as I'm sad when anyone - famous or not - loses their battle with any illness.


  1. Amen.

    I feel like I have so much to say on this, but so much of it is already being said, and I don't know if I will be able to articulate it well.

  2. I think that quote.."it's ok to admit you're not ok" speak volumes. Sadly, most people that suffer DON'T think it's ok.

    1. Kari, I searched hard to find a quote that I expressed what I wanted it to. I'm glad you agree.

  3. Beautifully written, my friend.

  4. This is such a great post. It blows my mind that anyone can speak negatively about mental illness and depression anyway, but especially when someone passes away.


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