Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Et Tu, Robin Williams?

In case you haven't heard, Robin Williams is dead.  Yes, really.  Hung himself with a belt.  So passes one of the greatest comic minds of all time.

I never met Robin Williams, but I know people who have.  You see, I used to work for a company called Games Workshop, and Robin Williams played our games (as does Billy Crystal, I'm told.)  He would come into our stores to play against people who would actually try to beat him.

(I'm going to abbreviate his name to RW for the rest of the entry for speed sake.)

As far as his comedy, he was the wellspring of my own comic style.  I define it as "lightning fast and WTF."  People who know me personally will attest that my jokes follow this pattern and are quite annoying.  But I learned it from him.

Obviously, he was better at it than I am.

He was also an amazing dramatic actor.  My favorite of his dramatic roles is actually from this little art house film called Dead Again where he is uncredited as a psychiatrist who now works at a grocery store.  he has the best line of the movie, as he fixes his eyes on Kenneth Branaugh and says "Why do women do anything?"

I discuss the Darkness often in this blog.  The Darkness is my name for suicidal thought.  And I've noticed other people have begun picking up on the phrase.  Good.  Call it by name.  Obviously, RW was no stranger to the Darkness.  You could hear it in his humor and see it in some of his roles.  One Hour Photo, anyone?

We who have walked in the Darkness know how hard it is to pull away from it.  RW couldn't, for whatever reason.  This man who brought laughter to millions... died alone.

Sad, isn't it?

But that's how we die too.  In the end, he was no different than us.  Strip away the millions, the mansion, etc, and he was a soul in pain.  Like so many of us.

And like any of us, he couldn't pull out of it alone.  No one can.  If you feel the Darkness coming, PLEASE, please please call someone- anyone- and talk about it.

My dear sister Lisa killed herself nearly a year ago, and I know first hand the devastation suicide leaves in it's wake.

If you need help, get it.

You can't do it alone, but with friends, you CAN pull out of it.  I'm living proof.

Be well.  And may the four winds blow you safely home, Robin.


  1. Sophie -

    This is why we need better antidepressants - where they don't make you feel like a zombie, or otherwise non-functioning, and stop that black dog before it causes any problems....

    The last thing for many that far into depression would want is to be told to make a phone call - his/her life is already worthless (to the depressed person's mind). So we must treat the illness before the intervention is needed - as it may come too late.

    I am grateful for those who have reached out for help before it was too late. But I will always be upset, and perhaps angry, for those we couldn't help in time. Their depression prevented them from asking for help. They deserved better - and we didn't have the tools to help.


  2. Well said and I hope that if anyone even thinks of giving into the Darkness that they heed your admonition to talk to someone and seek help. All life is precious and the effects of giving into one moment of the Darkness is an act that cannot be undone and effects so many so very deeply.

    1. Pat -

      There is a time and a place for giving into the darkness - but this was not it. (I'm glad that my late wife issued a DNR order on her last visit to the hospital - I'd have hated to see her suffer more from her cancer, and I'd have hated to see her exist solely for the sake of others, and not herself....)

      As I said - this was not the time and place to give into the black dog, and we need much better antidepressants to keep that beast at bay.