One thing that I have learned to (begrudgingly) accept as I grow older is that part of life is watching your heroes become legends.
Often, they slip away into fable and folklore. Sometimes, they become part of a greater mythology. Only time can tell for certain which way it will happen. Occasionally though, one of them rocks the boat enough to make some noticeable waves on the way out.
Of course I’m talking about Robin Williams. I want to discuss it while the shock is still fresh in my brain and my heart. I want to say this one piece about his death, and then I will put it aside so that we can try to focus the life and laughter that he provided so many for so much of his life.
Like many of us – maybe all of us – Robin Williams had his own demons. Over the years, he has made it a point to be open and upfront about his addictions and issues. He fought long and hard and, unfortunately, the fight must have been too much.
And that is ultimately where I would like to draw the line.
It hurts to know we live in a world where people find themselves overwhelmed and decide that there is only one solution. A solution that, personally, I think is awful and unfortunate and just unnecessary.
There are solutions. There are answers. There is no reason anyone should see their only recourse as ending their own life.
I like to believe that no one in my life is currently in a dangerous state of mind. I like to think that, but the truth is, I can’t be sure. If I’m right and no one I know is in dire straits, I consider myself fortunate.
If I’m wrong, all I can ask is that you get help. There is no situation I can think of where suicide is a positive outcome. It simply isn’t. True, it might seem easier than the uphill struggle you are facing, but if you take that easy road out you are missing out on the triumphs as well as the tribulations.
There is no reason you need to face your struggle alone, either. Even if you don’t think you have anyone, reach out. Someone wants to help. Friends or family or your church or someone in your community or even just taking a lifeline. That’s what it is there for.
None of us are alone. You might think that – it’s easy to agree with those thoughts when you’re tired of fighting and not seeming to make any headway. But someone is going to miss you. If you think you aren’t going to be missed, you are wrong. It’s not the answer any of us should ever consider. It’s a sad ending that the rest of the people around you have to deal with when you are gone.
Robin Williams is gone. It’s sad and shocking and it means that so many wonderful future moments have been lost to us. But this moment is not without its value. If you are in a good place, be an ear or a shoulder for someone who reaches out. If you are in need, please, seek help. There are so many options, but they all require you to try.
So try. And don’t give up. You can start here.
Now, as promised: laughter: