|Robin Williams aboard the USS Enterprise in 2003.|
And then I come home yesterday to the news that Robin Williams has died by his own hand. It's so tragic ... and so incredibly selfish. I realize people who kill themselves are in extreme emotional pain, but suicide punishes their loved ones unlike any other kind of death. It's a very cruel thing to do to their family, who then spend the rest of their lives wondering "What if ....?". My brother committed suicide, so I speak from experience.
I was saddened to hear that he was gone, and then angry at how it had happened. Suicide is the coward's way out. It transfers the sufferer's pain onto the people who loved them the most, and that's not fair, especially if you have children ... and he did.
I understand Robin Williams fought depression for most of his life, and yesterday was probably the scenario his family feared the most. My heart goes out to his family and friends. I hope they find a way to deal with their grief and don't let this tragedy derail the trajectory of their own lives, as is so often the case. I worry about his kids... children whose parents commit suicide are much more likely to succumb to the same fate ... and it sounds like this family has already suffered enough.
Aside from the memorable film roles and laughs he gave us, Robin Williams supported our troops by performing for our soldiers in the field. I have a great deal of respect for those who go into war zones to boost the moral of our men and women in uniform. How ironic that he spent his life making people happy, yet happiness eluded him.
I hurt for his family. While the public knew him as a comedienne without equal, and for the dramatic roles he played with an expertise no one expected from a "funny man", his family knew him as a husband and father, brother and friend. The public lost a beloved entertainer, but his family lost their anchor.
May he rest in peace.