I’m saddened by the death of Robin Williams. As a teenager, he gave me countless hours of joy watching him play Mork. While he was seven years older than me, it feels like he’s of my generation. What despair drives a person to kill themselves? Williams, one would think, had everything. He could have left the world stage and lived out his life in ease. I hope as the story unfolds that there is more to it than just that the guy was depressed. His publicist reported that he “has been battling severe depression”. So why didn’t someone do something to help him?
As a gay teenager, I was lonely and felt that I was very different from my peers. Mork And Mindy were some of the wonderful highlights of my teenage years. And in Williams’ Mork I saw someone that was clearly different, didn’t fit in, and yet was charming, funny, and smart. I suspect that all teenagers feel like they don’t fit in. The universal appeal of Mork, like so many of Williams’ characters, is that he is his own man, marching to a different drummer, yet someone you wanted to be like. As a boy who felt different from a very early age, Williams’ characters made me feel okay, that difference was not a bad thing, but something special to be celebrated.
I’ve only recently discovered the music of Amy Winehouse. Her voice was so incredible. I’ve thought about the fact that she released the song, Rehab. The whole world knew that she was in trouble with drugs, yet we could do nothing, and she died. I wonder who knew Williams was depressed and did nothing?
Death doesn’t scare me. While I don’t want to be in pain, and would likely take my own life to end a life of unremitting pain, I’m not afraid of death. It’s sad when a great talent like Williams, who has been a part of so many of our lives, is gone. It feels like we’ve lost a family member or friend because we grew up with him.
Robin, I hope whatever pain you were in, that you’ve now found the peace you were looking for.