I am reblogging this post now, because it, and all the comments it received, mirror my feelings on the subject. I was very shaken by Robin William’s death and didn’t understand why until I discussed it with a friend. Then to find out that a good cross-section of the mental-health community felt the same is both comforting and disconcerting. I felt this way when I heard the news of Rick Rypien, a talented hockey player and Anthony Sedlak, a very promising young chef had both taken their own lives. It’s the same feeling when someone I know feels suicide is the only answer. It is so close to home that it shakes your very core. I have to admit I often struggle with “why did I make it and not them”.
Why Robin Williams?
I’m not a fan of celebrity worship, nor do I feel especially comfortable perhaps taking advantage of human suffering and loss by writing about a total stranger’s suicide. That said, Robin’s suicide disturbs me. It touches a sore nerve, it hurts. He seemed a safe, reliable positive out there in the world, a source of joy and humor and, well, life. He was fine as far as I knew, just fine, then BAM!: dead. It’s shocking, saddening, makes the world seem less safe, less reliable.
Clearly there is no “Robin Williams and me”, no relationship beyond talented performer and fan. I use the phrase in another sense. Why does his death hit me harder than most? What does it mean?
Events’ meaning partially come from our reactions to them, our responses. Like so many, I have thought over Robin’s many fine performances, the incredible eruption…
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