Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday.
I found myself talking to him – thanking him for all the years of laughter and surprise. Hoping he had found piece and was out of pain. My heart aches for his friends, family – his children – I’ve never met.
I cannot imagine what they are going through – as well as the rest of us who think we knew him – because he touched our hearts, made us laugh till we could not take in a breath. Forty years of laughter is a long time – to suddenly have it all go quiet is awkward. It doesn’t feel real, or right, or possible.
I’m sure some people would say why, why kill yourself – because he had so much money. Which proves money does not make you happy. He had family, children maybe a dog – which also proves, as much as I hate to say it, the emotional support does not make you happy. There were movies, awards, TV, all these opportunities because of who he is…was… Guess that also proves the accolades and celebrity -ism does not make you happy.
We’ve ALL experienced not being happy – wanting something, needing something, what makes us different? Are we happy because of ourselves? Why can we cope and he – with everything he could want at his fingertips – could not?
Is this magic, the answer, the questions, the pulse of life, because we are happy with ourselves? Is that the secret? Is there something in us the money, fame, opportunities could not buy or frame or lay out in front of you? Hmmm.
It is almost scary to think about. I know people who have thought about suicide. Attempted it. Succeeded in it. Would they have ever believed how absolutely devastated those – any ‘one’ – left behind to live out whatever time they had left, would have to cope with, remember, doubt, second guess for the rest of their lives. What could they have done? If they only called maybe he/she would still be alive? Hindsight is a wonderful thing that can also torture the soul.
Some will say the choice was theirs and you know what, ultimately they were right. But it is the ones left behind that carry the burden of never, ever knowing that chips away at them every day – every time they hear a joke, see a movie, know that was his/her favorite color, song, food…the pain goes on and on and on. Oh, it will ease over time to a dull ache…but it will never go away.
I find myself today talking out loud to God, the Great Spirit, the One, whatever you choose to call what connects us all. I find myself talking out loud to work out the knot in my chest. Who am I? He didn’t know me, didn’t know I existed, never called my name, my phone, had coffee and talked with me. I have no right to say I ‘knew’ him, when I only knew his work. His craft, his art, his timing and laughter. One of my favorite things is to watch the person who makes us laugh – laugh. The only word that comes to mind is joy. He brought joy. Boundless, unrestricted joy – to all ages, socioeconomic fields, colors, religions, nations. he brought joy to people. That was indeed a gift, a very special, uniquely powerful gift. Because when you laugh time stops, problems freeze stiff, you feel lifted up and light, you breath different, you make different noises, your heart beats stronger, your nose runs, you eyes tear and you feel! You feel everything! The hug is stronger the kiss sweeter, the pat on the back more solid. You feel! Isn’t that what we all want? To feel – and not just to feel, but to feel good. To be happy! That is what laughter makes us feel. Happy.
I know, one day soon, watching his movies, hearing his jokes, seeing a rerun on Who’s Line is it Anyway, will make me smile, laugh and feel happy. But for right now, this morning the world woke up without Robin Williams. I’m sad. My eyes sting with tears. My heart beats in a hollow spot for this one man I never met who made me laugh. For years, he made me laugh. Now he’s gone. His timing, his wit, his brilliance, the twinkle in his eye, his own laughter is gone. Who am I? I am one of thousands and thousands who feel the same empty place in their chest this morning for a man most did not meet, but everyone knew and loved and cherished. He will be mourned and forever missed. Whatever you believe, especially what ever he believed, in a heaven, a cloud, golden gates, a different plane in the next dimension. I hope, I deeply sincerely hope. He found happy.