in memoriam

I’ve struggled with what to say. I mean, there are so many things that can and can’t be said and just in the relatively short time since his death I think they’ve all been said multiple times.

 

I was not what you’d call a rabid fan of Robin Williams, as I’ve said before I can’t really say that I’ve ever really called myself a “fan” of anyone that often. I mean – I’m admitting something here – I know in my life span I have watched both Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets’ Society, but I apparently watched them too young because for the life of me I remember nothing much about either of them.

But oh, how I admired what he could do. To transform himself into this gleeful entity and also be able to portray deep – sometimes even dark and flawed – emotion. He was such a phenomena, such a bundle of possibility. It was like this special privilege that everyone shared – to be able to be surprised and entertained by this man that looked so ordinary and held so much unseen.

He made us laugh. I owe so much laughter to Robin Williams – laughter and sudden whop-you-in-the-gut elation were my favorite things that he was so good at providing. The first crow, the final Genie dance, the red clown nose.

It would be impossible to talk about this terrible loss without acknowledging the role that depression apparently played, so I will.

I am no stranger to depression. I don’t think any of us are, really. There have been days that I couldn’t see the point in being around, that it seemed things would be better altogether if I weren’t in the way. Days when it felt like ever having been happy was just a dream of a feeling.

Maybe that’s what he felt. Maybe there was more truth to Gabriel Noone than to Mrs. Doubtfire.

Even with all of this, I think what we’re supposed to remember is the joy. The belly laughs and the emotions conveyed. The bizarre and zany and even the strange and sinister. Whatever news comes to light about his death and the circumstances thereof, his state of mind and the secret self he apparently hid from a world who would want to help him – I think he deserves for us to remember the happiness.

I think that, especially now, if he could look back, Mr. Williams would say something a lot like what Chris Nielsen has already said.

“…I realized I’m part of the problem. Not because I remind you, but because I couldn’t join you. So I left you alone. Don’t give up, okay?”

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