An Open Letter To Robin Williams
Although I've never met you, I, and millions of others are mourning your loss.
Before you left us, I wish you knew your departure from this Earth would affect so many people. I wish you knew how many people cared, even though they didn't express it. You didn't know me, but I knew you. I knew you in movies, I knew you in comedy, and I read about you on the internet. I knew you from the time I was about six years old, watching re-runs of 'Mork and Mindy' on Nick at Nite. Like everyone else that knew you from afar, I knew you as a funny man, a multi-talented man, and someone who appeared to be a good person with a kind heart.
Today, we talked about your death on the radio and I found myself speechless most of the morning. It feels different to learn that one has passed by their own actions. Every death is unfortunate, sad, and hurts the hearts of friends and loved ones, but death by suicide is that much more devastating.
To think about how you must have felt in the months, days, hours and minutes leading up to that last breath, is heartbreaking. To think of how you must have felt, when deciding to act upon the thoughts overtaking your mind and body, is heartbreaking. To even try to understand the pain you were living inside each and every day, is enough to bring a person to tears.
Some don't understand depression. Some think suicide is a 'cowardly thing to do', a 'selfish act', or an 'easy way out.' My understanding is that it is none of those things. It's a terrible and sad way to have to go to through life and many feel shame surrounding their depression, because it's not a topic that is talked about openly. No one wants to be the 'crazy' person. Depression doesn't make you a crazy person...depression happens, and depression hurts, physically and emotionally. It can happen to the most successful, seemingly happy, fulfilled people. It can happen to the people you least expect it to happen to. It can happen to anyone.
Mr. Williams, you always made us laugh and let us see the bright side of things in your comedy and your movies. Let me share with you the one bright spot, the silver lining, that I have discovered out of this tragedy. You have opened up the eyes and minds of those around you. You have without realizing it, raised awareness about depression. You have helped others to realize that it can happen to the best of us. You have made other people realize they are not alone, and for that, I thank you. Rest easy Robin Williams, you are not in pain any longer.
If you are reading this and are currently experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, please know that people love you and don't want to see anything bad happen to you! Even in your darkest moment, there is at least one person out there that you mean the world to! They may not express it with words, but know that they feel it. I have seen it all over social media, people reaching out to other people. It's beautiful and I feel the same way myself. I would rather someone call me, text me, email me, drive to my house etc., to talk about how they are feeling, ask for advice, or a favor in the middle of the night, than to see them take matters into their own hands, and leave this world and the people they love, prematurely. Things can always get better, trust me. There are people that want to help you, I promise.
If you or someone you know needs help or someone to talk to, please utilize this website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/