When I first read the news that Robin Williams had passed away I felt complete and utter shock. The first thing I did was call my mother. I just needed to tell somebody. I recognized that the pain I felt was completely disproportional to the reltionship I had with the entertainer. I did not know him personally, heck, I don't even know his birthday off the top of my head, and yet still I was heartbroken over his death.
Perhaps I felt so much pain because Mr. Williams played such a large role in my childhood. My family owned the video cassette tape of Hook, a movie in which Robin Williams plays a Peter Pan who has grown up. I ruined that tape. I watched it so many times the tape wore out. Hook was not the only movie of Robin Williams' that had a profound effect on me as a child. There was Disney's Aladdin, Jumanji and Mrs. Doubtfire just to name a few. I think there is a natural law that states that if you are a 90s kid you are a fan of Robin Williams.
Of course when I was child, Robin Williams was little more than a funny, furry guy who had a proclivity for funny voices. As I grew into adulthood I watched some of his more serious work. Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting and Insomnia are flicks which demonstrate that Williams had incredible versatility. He knew the wide spectrum of human emotion, as comedians often do. How else are they able to make jokes that so many people can relate to?
His gift of understanding the human experience came at a hefty price. As is the case with so many beautiful people who bring joy to humanity, Williams suffered from mental illness, namely depression. I don't want this post to turn into a soapbox, so I won't go into too much depth on depression, suffice it to say depression has a way of distorting your view of reality.
I cannot help but note the tragedy of Williams state of mind at his death. To think that a man who has brought joy to an untold number of people may have thought of himself as worthless is heartbreaking. In the coming days and weeks stories will be brought to light which will aim to bring this man's demons and weaknesses to the spotlight. Don't feed those flames. This man was incredibly talented. He helped people by bringing them laughter and entertainment. He had his demons, but then don't we all? I can only hope that when I pass on people choose to remember the good I did, instead of my mistakes.
The world has lost one of her most talented sons. I will miss Robin Williams dearly. Sure I did not know him personally, but his work has had a profound effect on me. It has inspired me to follow my dreams (like blog writing) and I know he has done the same for countless others. My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Robin Williams, the people who knew and loved the man.
Rest in peace Mr. Williams, and know that you will be severely missed. Thank you for playing a major role in my awesome childhood. Thank you for helping me better understand the human experience through your more serious work. Thank you for everything.