I’ve been avoiding writing this blog post, but I know it’s one I need to write. By now, everyone knows that Robin Williams passed away earlier this week. And by now, we all know that it was suicide and that he’d had some physical and mental problems as well as past addictions. I’ve read in articles online that his wife claims his sobriety was intact, so I’m going to assume that was true. I mean, it doesn’t really matter… I don’t need all the details.
I know some people differ on their thoughts about this. Suicide is never something that is easy for anyone to handle. It’s a rough topic. We are all only given one life here on this earth, and the thought of deciding to just opt out of that isn’t a comfortable thought for those of us that are still here. Why would someone want to give up everything? Is this world really that bad that you just want to stop existing? It’s a hard thing to comprehend.
There are people that are quick to point out that suicide is a choice, and that you shouldn’t feel sorry for someone who chose it, and that you shouldn’t celebrate them after they do it. I agree to an extent. Yes, suicide is always a choice. But it’s not always a rational choice. In fact, I’d say in most cases it’s anything but a rational choice. If someone was in their right mind, surely they would realize that this world, albeit painful at times, does have its redeeming qualities. But I think some people, particularly those that have never experienced severe depression or what it’s like to not be in a rational state of mind, just can’t seem to get past the fact that it’s still always a choice.
I’ve never been severely depressed. I’ve never been at the point where I seriously considered suicide. I have thought about it, but never quite to that extent. But I have been in dark places before. I know what it’s like to not be rational. I know what it’s like to feel out of control. I think that’s the best way to explain it. When you are in a place like that, you really are out of control. You aren’t seeing the big picture, and what you are doing is based on how you are seeing things. Obviously, I don’t know that much about Robin Williams. But from what I do know about him, he was a good person. He did a lot of good for people, both on-camera and off. He seemed like a very smart, well-adjusted person who was definitely very well-respected. But apparently, he also struggled with seeing life as the good thing that it is. I can only imagine how it looked to him, but it must have been very dark, judging by the decision he made.
Suicide is almost never a good choice. For any individual leading a relatively normal life, it never is. Even when you’re in a very dark place, it is always possible for it to get better. Do I believe it was a choice for him? Yes, it was. Do I think it was the right one? No, I don’t. Here’s what I do know, though. A choice like this, that amounts to the end of a life, does not discount the entire life. And Robin Williams had a pretty great one. He brought a lot of joy and laughter to a lot of people’s lives, and I think THAT is to be celebrated. No one is celebrating his choice to end his life. We are simply feeling sorry for the pain he went through that led him to this decision, and we are celebrating all the good that he brought to the world before he left it.
I have to say, usually celebrity deaths don’t have much impact on me. But this one has. I remember seeing so many movies he was in that I loved. I remember watching Mrs. Doubtfire with my dad, quite a few times. He loved that movie. And sadly, the way Robin Williams died brings back memories of some very personal, very dark times for me that I usually tend to repress. So this has been an emotional week, and I know I’m not alone in that. The world is saying goodbye to a very talented actor and comedian that seemingly dealt with some very dark times that in the end, led to his tragic demise. We mourn with his family and at the same time, celebrate all he brought to the world.
Goodbye, O Captain. You will be missed.