This isn't the sort of topic that I would usually write about, but it has been weighing heavily on me recently and I want to get a few things off my chest. Robin Williams was an incredible person. Brilliant actor, hilarious comedian, wonderful friend/father/husband, and an amazing spreader of positivity and laughter. He was the sort of person that you would idolise without consciously knowing that he was your idol. He was someone you thought would just always be there. Like a childhood teacher that never grows old - or at least not in your mind.
When I first found out that Robin Williams had passed I immediately texted my Mum to let her know. She was the reason I discovered Robin Williams all those years ago, and so my first instinct was to inform her before she heard it from someone else. It seems silly looking back, but it also goes to show how upsetting I felt his death could be. Just two days prior I had been visiting at my Mum's house and I made everyone sit down to watch Mrs Doubtfire with me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's almost like I knew that something was going to happen to him. Towards the end of the movie Mum and I started reminiscing about some of Robin's other movies and how he always has what appears to be really sad, soulful eyes - even in his funniest of films. It was a general observation made by Mother and daughter, generations apart. It meant nothing at the time, but two days later it suddenly meant the world.
I'm not a stranger to suicide. I know people who have tried, failed and instantly regretted it, and I know of people who tried and succeeded. Sadly, up until now, I was one of those people (one of the majority of people) who wrote these suicides or attempted suicides off as being acts of selfishness. I could feel compassion for their sadness, struggles, etc. but I could never understand how they could ever take it that far. I am ashamed to admit that it took Robin Williams' death to open my eyes to the harsh reality that is depression, but I am also grateful that my eyes are now open. If someone as truly caring, hopeful, positive and warm as Robin could reach a point where he felt that he had no other choice, it seems very clear to me that selfishness has nothing to do with it.
Since finding out last Monday I have been walking around with a very heavy heart and crying a lot more than usual. I first starting crying when I found out how he had done it. A mental image involuntarily entered my mind and it has been popping into my head at random times throughout the week causing me to cry (thankfully in private) at the drop of a hat. Then last night my partner and I decided to watch Dead Poets Society and I completely lost the plot. I was partially crying because of the movie (Spoiler alert: the movie ends with suicide), but mostly it was because of the sudden realisation that we weren't the only ones who had been re-watching a bunch of Robin's old films this week. At that exact moment in time there were probably thousands and thousands of people from all over the world, and of all different ages, mourning the loss of such an incredible talent in the best way that they knew how - through his movies - one of the many wonderful gifts he managed to leave behind.
I only hope that Robin knew how greatly he would be missed, and that knowing this was able to bring him some form of comfort and a feeling of peace with his decision.
May he forever rest in peace and in our hearts for always.