The Passing of Robin Williams: A Tragedy In Two Parts

I can’t watch the news today. I’m tempted to stop looking at my social media feeds too. It’s all too much. I can’t believe that Robin Williams is gone. You get so used to something being a part of your life that you don’t think about it after a while. His comedy has been everywhere since I was knee high. I remember watching Mork and Mindy as a kid, and just the other day I saw him on Louis C.K.’s show. Robin has made me laugh more than any other person on this planet. I’m not one to get upset over the death of a person I’ve never met, but this hit me in a soft spot.

And why wouldn’t it? As a kid I grew up watching his movies. As a member of the military I heard about his many USO shows and thought, “There’s a good guy.” I found out he named his daughter Zelda after one of my favorite games, and we both played World of Warcraft. We grew up in the same area of Michigan. One of the few drama movies I will positively gush about is What Dreams May Come. He was a charitable soul who cared about the welfare of children and animals. Like a lot of writers and funny folks, we’ve both battled with depression. We had a lot in common. Just a downright amazing guy overall. He was a part of my life even though he was never really a part of my life…

And now he’s gone. The funny guy– the warm guy– died sad.

That’s the rub isn’t it? He died thinking that didn’t matter. It makes my stomach hurt when I imagine that.  As stupid as it is, I can’t help but wonder if he might have changed his mind if he’d seen how much he mattered. If he could have had an It’s A Wonderful Life moment– If he could have seen the article by David Wong, or if he could have heard the president’s comments— Would he still be here with us? This is a tragedy in two parts. Everyone who’s born is going to die one day, and that’s what makes our time here precious. When we cut that time short because we lose sight of life’s value it makes everything worse for those left behind. I can’t imagine what his lovely family is going through right now. It kills me just to think about it.

And that’s it. Shows over. Slow clap and walk off the stage. Too soon and too suddenly. Look folks, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. But I swear if anyone reading this ever needs help, you just have to ask. This breaks my heart into a thousand pieces. If he could have just seen how much he mattered it could have been prevented. If you need please, please, please, call the suicide hotline or 911. Hell, if you can’t or won’t do that drop me a line. I’ll give you my number and we can talk. Do something, please. If not for your own sake then for the sake of the people who will be crushed by your passing.

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