Thank you Robin Williams

I was driving home and listening to the radio when I learned Robin Williams had died. Disbelief and sadness washed over me. It reminded me of when I learned Elvis had died. It just didn’t seem real. It was one of those moments you know you will remember for the rest of your life.

Why? Because even though we never met I shared many years of my life with Robin Williams. He didn’t know me, but I knew him. I watched every movie he ever made. That meant I knew him, right?

Of course not. All that means is that I knew his public persona, the side of him he showed to the world. I didn’t know the real person, the one his family and close friends knew.

Fame and Fortune Don’t Equal Happiness

There is a part of me that is still fooled by the illusion that the rich and famous don’t have problems. That’s ridiculous, I know. There are hundreds of sad stories of people who supposedly had it all but their reality was quite different.

I realized today as I sat in my car and trying to absorb the news of his death from an apparent suicide, that I thought of him as a happy person. Why would a happy person kill themselves?

I thought of him as a happy person because he made ME happy.

I adored him in Mork and Mindy. I watched Dead Poet’s Society a gazillion times and was inspired every time. I laughed until I wet my pants at Mrs. Doubtfire and Patch Adams, well it touched my soul.

But just because he made me happy…doesn’t mean he was happy.

Watching him in the movies and on television, it was obvious he was a genius. But there was something about him that made me feel like he was on the edge of a cliff and that if he was pushed hard enough….he might fall off. His intensity and his crazy/funny humor was always entertaining, but I found it exhausting. He was a candle that burned too brightly, a song that was sung a little too loud.

Rest In Peace

Whatever his demons were, they are gone now. I’m so sorry for the loss his family is experiencing. I’m sorry for all of us who knew and loved him as an entertainer. But most of all I’m sorry for him.

I wish that someone who brought so much joy to others could have had peace within himself.

We will miss you Robin Williams and when I think of you I will remember the laughter you gave the world and the huge chunk of your heart that you shared with us.

God bless you for those gifts.

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