Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Goodbye, Robin Williams.

I loved Robin Williams. You did, too. But unless you breathe in more rarefied celebrity air than I, you did not know him. He entertained us, inspired us, influenced us . . . but did not attend our weddings, birthday parties, or stop by at suppertime. I am in no position to comment on his mental health.

You aren't, either.

When a celebrity dies of suicide, particularly after years of publicized drug and/or alcohol addiction, there's a predictable clarion call for better mental health care and substance abuse treatment. It lasts about three or four days. Then we resume our lives and make occasional, wistful mention of the lost soul and his or her immense talent. We muddle through the world with a little less light to guide our paths.

I cannot imagine what better mental health services and addiction treatment could have been available to a person of Robin Williams' means. I don't think "we" could have "saved" him with our love. I'm going to say it out loud: he did a cruel and selfish thing. I pray for his family and close friends. I pray for those struggling as he did on a daily basis, who manage to persevere despite pain and darkness. And I pray his death might inspire someone to seek help before destroying the lives of those around him or her.

Because suicide did not "free" Robin Williams.

He eliminated himself and left his loved ones to struggle with guilt, grief, and anguish. That's the reality.

G. K. Chesterton said, “The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.”

Our world will never be the same.

Love from Delta.