Dear Robin Williams,
I’m struggling to accept that you’re not on the same celestial plain as I am. Someone so apparently joyous in making other people happy; someone who was lucky and hardworking enough to be able to do what they loved every day – and yet there was something incurable inside you unable to accept this life. I’ve always heard the stigma of suicide being a ‘selfish’ act. Yet when I think of you, I question a character like yours, even at my distance, ever being selfish toward others. To you, I am nothing but a fan and a mere stranger. However I’ve never had the death of someone I never knew affect me as deeply as yours has.
I understand thousands of people are feeling the same way as I. The concept seems wrong and so unfortunately hopeless to those who suffered and are still suffering the same way you were. And sadly, the cycle will continue with countries worth of people feeling the loss of you. Will those people feel empowered, inspired or desperate? I daresay we have all had depression in our lives at some point, whether it be through stress, illness, social struggles or the environment we found ourselves in. Perhaps it was measured in terms of length such as an everyday fight or that ‘time’ in our lives we look back on with a sigh and the small throb of the internal battle scar.
I hope people don’t see this as a post, purposeful only because you held some ‘importance’ in our society, as that isn’t my intention. Everyone is important to someone at some point of their lives. There was souls lesser known before you, doing good in the world or simply trying to live life, that like you, were ready to rest from the emotional animosity. There isn’t enough understanding of depression; something you were quite public with – and I’m so, so very sorrowful that it has taken you to reach a point of such clarifying darkness and say goodbye – to create more questions. Because as I mentioned before – how can someone like you not be able to carry on when you have brought so much elation and magical wonderment to others on such a tremendous scale? What kind of lives are we living in a world that you can no longer exist?
There has been such overwhelming outpour about you; I hope you’re seeing it from wherever you are. We’ve been watching your old interviews, stand up and favourite childhood movies as a tribute to you and the eternal happiness you created and will continue to create from this immortality stories allow. Even in death you are still bringing people together –it’s just that now there will be a heavy twang of bittersweet despondency and hopefully, awareness, supporting the smiles you inspire. Personally I’m not simply watching them as a reminder of entertainment I’d forgotten, but because I’m trying my best to still see your distinct face, hear your familiar voice, laugh at your silly movements; grasping at whatever is earthly left of you to hold dear. I guess we never do forget the things we loved as children. Right now I am that child, baffled and tried by something so incomprehensible. So I will keep watching the films I remember. I know I’ll also begin sourcing the film and television you were in before I was born or that I haven’t yet given myself the opportunity to watch, because although I can respect your death; I cannot yet accept it. It is still raw, still something I don’t want to believe – and I can’t even hold a candle to the grief of those who were close to you.
To your loved ones, to others feeling the same as me, and to anyone on which ever end of the pain depression and suicide inflicts, my thoughts extend. To you however, I say a heavy and reluctant goodbye…and thank you. I hope you are free somewhere, sharing your spark in a different space that we can’t comprehend…because the world feels lesser without you in it.