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Silent Killer of the Greats: How to Honor Robin Williams

Heather Foster

The day Robin Williams passed away my husband woke me up from an impromptu nap. I had a rough day and I was very tired. The first words I heard from my nap were “Robin Williams passed away”. How? “Apparent suicide” he replied. 

Now I don’t normally get emotional over a celebrity passing, as each life is just as precious, but this hit my quite hard. Robin Williams’ comedic prowess saved me from terrible days. I remember watching The Birdcage to lift my spirits after a hard day. 

Now to the point of this post. Robin Williams was not hit by a car. Robin Williams did not die of a stroke. Robin Williams committed suicide. The question in your mind has to be “Why? Why would someone who was so loved and enjoyed by everyone take their own life”? 

Depression. 

Depression is a silent killer of many. A killer we have swept under the rug for far too long. Can we really, as a country, as a world, sweep this under the rug and say “He was lazy” “He was mentally weak”? “He was alone”? 

He wasn’t alone; he had a family, friends and fans around the world. He had everything in the world to live for…but it is never enough when the black dog comes to bite. Paired with addiction, it is almost an inevitable spiral down into sadness. 

This is why I am here. This is why I do what I do. Because I don’t own a mental health broom and I always have hated sweeping. Depression isn’t something someone can talk themselves out of; it is something people need to help someone through. Every death is a tragedy…but suicide is the grandest tragedy of all. 

To those of you reading this… don’t forget this. Don’t forget what happened to Robin Williams. A comedic genius with seemingly everything one could ever wish for ended his life because he couldn’t pull himself out of the shadows. Talk to your friends, Talk to your Senators, Talk to the people who can make something happen. We need to overcome the stigma of mental illness in order to stop these things from happening. If you or a friend is dealing with depression, please do not be ashamed, always seek help. 

And remember. 

You are worth it.

Comments

Well said. If there can ever be any good coming from a suicide from a famous person like Robin it is that it got people talking. He was much loved all over the world. His death has had quite an impact... so many people face booking and tweeting about suicide awareness.
When someone fairly unknown dies this way... people don't dare even put it in their obituaries and they whisper to each other "he killed himself" ... in Robins case it's all over the media so people talk about it. I lost my brother to bipolar in 2005 and family barely speak about it. It's too painful for one and its too stigmatized. So as hard as it was to lose robin Williams. .. at least people are talking. I hope that makes sense.

Jessi,

If Robin Williams could see this, he would smile. Tragedy is a powerful motivator to get things done. He often spoke about awareness for mental health, but his death was the most powerful way to show it to people who didn't understand. I will miss him, and his movies and we should all remember how great of a man he was. Thank you for reading!

Heather

Thanks for your post. This hit me hard as well. I'm my brother 's Caregiver & trained with NAMI in their Family to Family program. Because of transportation problems I can't get to support groups but I can on Facebook & online. Your post helped me now as Robin Williams helped with his humor, in a very different way but in an incredible way that I'm only realizing as I write this. Thanks so much.

Susan,

I don't drive, I actually plan to write a blog about it soon. So I understand how tough it is to not be able to go to certain support groups for help. That is the reason I do what I do, because online help can be just as powerful. Thank you for reading :)

Heather

Robin's death hit me a lot harder than I expected. I still get upset. I have had clinical depression for over 25 yrs and still have my ups and downs. Is there a group on line for people with depression, not bi-polar, to connect and get support?

Sadness

Cant say enough about this site. It really helped me tonight.

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