I need to start this by apologizing. I did a disservice as a broadcaster, as someone you depend on for news and talking about what’s going on. After the morning dealing with the sudden death of Robin Williams, it was bothering me all day about how I handled it. I lacked comprehending it and translating it into words that were respectful. The phrase “committed suicide” I used. Yes, that is what happened and others were using the phrase, but it bothered me to the core and I couldn’t figure it out.
I spent the day reading article after article, story after story on Robin Williams, trying to gain more appreciation and perspective on his massive career, talents, and how he gave back. Then I had it. It wasn’t suicide that took his life, it was depression. I was calling it the wrong thing.
Years ago when I first heard that Robin Williams suffered from depression, it gave new meaning to it. No, it wasn’t just another word for feeling sad, because how could someone who is so funny and cheery and perks everyone up be sad. It’s an illness, a disease, a battle everyday of one’s life, and often a battle that is kept quiet. Unfortunately in Robin’s case, it took a life.
That said, I came across some things that I want to pass along. The first is how Robin gave back, especially to the troops. He did a few services with the USO entertaining the troops and this clip shows his improv talent when the unexpected happens. And watch it to the end…you’ll see the caring human being he was.
Next is an article written by a comedian about why comedians suffer from suicide, and yes, this is dark and it’s deep and it’s heavy and it’s sad and it needs to be said. Read it here.
And lastly here’s how Robin answered the question “If heaven exist, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates” when he was on “Inside The Actor’s Studio” with James Lipton. I hope God has a really funny punch line to that joke.