Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I'm not sure why I am so sad about Robin Williams' passing, but I am. We have never met and honestly I can't remember the last time I watched one of his movies. It's nothing personal - I just don't have much time to watch movies these days. Tonight when I read the headline that Robin Williams had died, my heart immediately sank. As with most of the news I read, I was reading on my phone, so then I clicked on the link to read the article. After I read that he died of an apparent suicide, my heart sank even more. Such a preventable loss of life.

I haven't been a counselor for many years, but in my short stent in the mental health field, I have worked with a number of individuals who were clinically diagnosed as having a major depressive disorder. Depression is such a beast to understand and sometimes even harder to treat. When a person gets so depressed that they are in a dark enough place where they don't see a reason to go on living, it's very hard to get them to agree to treatment - lifestyle changes, therapy, medication, etc. While I have a basic understanding of some of the chemical and physical reasons for depression, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around suicide. What must Robin have been thinking this morning as he prepared for his own death? How deep must his pain and hurting have been that the thought of death outweighed everything else? Did he consider the pain he would cause his wife and children? For someone who passionately played so many roles pertaining to love and relationships, it's hard for me to understand how he was able to do this. Maybe this is one reason why I'm having a hard time grasping his passing. How could someone who did so much to help others through laughter and charity, end his life like this?

I remember in one of my classes learning that the highest suicide rates were found in middle-aged, white males (45-64 years of age). I'm not sure why I found that surprising, but I did. We talked about how that age group might have more suicidal tendencies because individuals might look back on their life up to that point and not be satisfied by their path and progress, but then I think about someone like Robin Williams who achieved such greatness and admiration. I just don't understand.

There are many of Robin Williams' movies that I have never seen, but of the ones that I have seen, I think my favorite is still Mrs. Doubtfire. It is both funny and moving.

I love Williams' voicing of the Genie in Aladdin!

I like Good Will Hunting, although I still think I prefer Robin Williams in his funny, comedic roles.

I also really like Patch Adams.

 Who couldn't LOVE Lovelace from Happy Feet?

 While kind of dark, I really, really like What Dreams May Come. Watching it gave me so many things to think about and a different way of looking at things. This movie does an amazing job of pulling at so many different emotions. I hope Robin's heaven is everything he dreamed it would be.

I am so thankful for Robin Williams and for his talent, generosity, passion, and amazing sense of humor. A very bright star burned out today. Rest in peace, Robin Williams.

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