I don’t normally process my feelings so quickly when a celebrity passes. I know fully well that I don’t actually know the person and my grief is certainly not bigger than anyone else’s. But it hits me hard nonetheless, especially when I have somewhat of a connection (like the time I met Ryan Dunn). My very nature compels me to find out what happened. I want to empathize. I want to process. I want to know what went wrong in someone’s life and what I can learn from it. It’s how I cope.
With the passing of Robin Williams, I dwell on the “why”; how the less shiny and brilliant parts of his life will forever be associated with the way he died. Severe depression. Recovering alcoholic. Battling. Suicide. Bullets at the end of a synopsis of a successful life. Another life story ends with another sad reminder that depression and mental illness is no fucking joke.
I beg your pardon, but I watch and read this evening’s tributes to a fantastic comedian’s life with a heavy heart. I immediately become the 16 year old girl I was when my mom first asked that I watch What Dreams May Come, most likely because I had lost my “severely depressed” grandfather to suicide just two years prior and was probably still a little messed up. My views of heaven, suicide and death have never been the same. How ironic that I’m comforted by this movie today, the day the starring actor took his own life. I find comfort in one of my most favorite quotes, from that particular film: “What’s true in the mind is true; even when some people know it or not.”
I offer nothing more in this post than empathy and a rest in peace wish to someone I didn’t know, but admired for fighting the good fight and remaining humorous when he could.