Tonight, like much of the world, I am saddened by the loss of Robin Williams. I can’t say anything about Mr. Williams that has not already been said, and by more eloquent voices than mine. I can only share my impressions of this man who has been in my world since I was a young child.
Robin Williams was possessed of a genius that was larger than life, a phenomenally talented individual with a passionate performance style that rarely failed to make an impact. His range as an actor equaled his versatility as a comic, and his worked radiated with intelligence and depth.
Like so many people who bear the gifts of tremendous talent, Mr. Williams was also burdened by the other side–substance abuse, crippling depression, and bipolar disorder. Today, those diseases took their final toll on this remarkable man, and the world is sadder place because of it.
At times like these, I have to guard against my own depression, which was first diagnosed when I quite young. I’ve struggled with the burden of mental illness for most of my life. Every time another soul loses the battle with depression, my heart sinks.
There are some who might say that suicide is a coward’s game, or a selfish act. Yes, suicide leaves a pain behind that no one should ever have to bear. But my heart reaches out to Mr. Williams, and everyone like him, who has daily fought the dragon of depression. Each day, for 63 years, armed only with a sense of humor and ragged determination, the soul of Robin Williams waged war on his demons.
Today, he lay down his armor one last time.
Good night, Mr. Williams. Thank you for everything, and may your soul find peace.
Robin Williams, 1951-2014