It’s very strange. I feel like that is all I can really say but I’ll try my best to say more. Usually when a celebrity dies, it doesn’t really have that profound of an impact on me and I suppose that could be that during my 18 years of life, no artists that have had serious, profound impacts on me have really died. I never really thought the death of Robin Williams would have such an impact and I’m really only now starting to realize what he meant to me as an actor and entertainer. If I’m going to be honest here, I’ve really only even seen a handful of his films but I’m starting to realize what those movies really meant to me. Dead Poets Society is truly one of the most inspiring pieces of fiction I’ve seen and Robin Williams is everything for that film. His energetic comedic timing as well as his tender, sincere dramatic acting. He was truly the whole package in terms of acting. He was everything and very few actors have that, an incredible sense of depth and range as well as complete sincerity found within…and a lot of the time, that has to do with those who suffer the most.
Sincerity and empathy seem to thrive off those who go through the toughest things. Why would one who suffers so much want others to suffer as well? They would want others to be happy and never have to suffer and I can relate to that in a sense. Now, I’ve never suffered through any addiction problems or substance problems or any type of disorder or depression of any kind but I’ve always never really fit in. I’ve always sort of been an outsider with not too many friends and always used comedy (both in writing and in conversation) to be my shield and comfort. I’ve certainly been a suffer of loneliness and not really having people to connect to with the same interests as I did but it was nothing so severe…I would always be able to get through it. But, I’ve always been able to relate to all of those who used comedy not only to obviously be funny, but also to bring up important issues alongside sincerity, empathy, and to be used in a cathartic sense as well.
I have no idea what was really going on in his head before he committed suicide but I do know one thing for sure; we live in a world that doesn’t care enough about substance abuse and depression as well as other mental disorders. Many people seem to think those things can just magically go away with either a pill or “just getting over it.” And I still think that after a couple of weeks have gone by, people still won’t care and will continue to proceed on with their normal lives and probably not talk about the issues that need to be fixed. It’ll all blow over just like most celebrities’ deaths do. I am not claiming someone could have magically stopped Robin Williams from doing what he did, but we need to care more. We need to be more empathetic and more sincere people in general because you never know what living nightmare might be inside someone. Idon’t really have a solution to any of it but I simply hope that people could at the very least become more empathetic. That is all I could ask for people to take away from an awful tragedy like this.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as insincere in anyway (which wouldn’t be good considering I talk about sincerity in it…) but I think these things are really important. But even more important is the amount of joy and happiness Robin Williams gave to OTHER people. Thank you. Thank you for everything you did in your 63 years. You’ve inspired and you’ve made plenty of people better and happier human beings and that in itself is incredible. Rest in peace, Mr. Williams. Rest in peace.
I’d like to end this post with a quote by David Foster Wallace, an author who also suffered through depression and also took his own life but also was incredibly sincere and empathetic:
“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”