Robin Williams is dead.
Even saying it is almost to hard to believe.He was just a powerhouse and a comic supernova.
I cried…..and I cried.
He was more than a hero to me,he was a life-saver.When my family was ignoring or deriding me,Robin made me laugh.When life was trying to suffocate the spark out of me,Robin made me laugh.
Yet where was the laughter life-saver for the life-saver?Robin suffered depression,which contributed to his almost legendary battles with drugs and alcohol,as well as his marital strifes.
And he committed suicide,partially because of his depression,but also because of one other factor;
He was in the first stages of Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the death of dopamine-generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain; the cause of this cell death is unknown. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related; these include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease, whereas depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. Parkinson’s disease is more common in older people, with most cases occurring after the age of 50.
So,basically,you slowly become a prisoner of your own broken down body.Since depression is a common symptom,what would happen to a depressive who develops Parkinson’s?Simple answer is…pure, unadulterated HELL.A body and a mind that will not listen to your commands,and a total loss of lucidity and comprehension of the world around you……and for a walking ball of kinetic energy like Robin Williams,you might as well execute him instead of letting him suffer.
To have what makes you special robbed from you and not being able to do anything about it,not being able to do what you love anymore,be resigned to just sit and watch the world feel sorry for what you eventually become,and watching your ability to recognize your own children rot away until everyone is a stranger and you cannot even recognize the reflection in the mirror……if that isn’t Hell,i would hate to see what Hell is.
Now,i know a lot of people say suicide is a selfish way to go because of the people you leave behind.I sort of agree.However,what Robin would have become would actually be a valid reason for it….to die a hero and shinning light of comedy in this world instead of letting PD take you and turn you into a mute,wheelchair-bound vegetable.I’d wanna die too.
Suicide is selfish when you have nothing wrong with you and you do it out of selfish reasons;hurt pride,divorce,loss of job,lack of attention from certain people etc.In THAT way,suicide is selfish.Yet aren’t the living selfish for wanting the dead to not be dead.Have you never found yourself at a funeral or memorial saying ‘No,its not fair,why did you have to leave me,I need you’ or something to that effect.Isn’t that a selfish declaration itself,so how is it different than suicide?
Also,how can people judge Robin Williams as weak or selfish or a coward for what he did when it makes total sense if you actually think about it.
In the Star Trek universe,there is a race of people known as Kaelons.In their society,The Kaelons practiced ritual suicide at the age of 60 in a ceremony referred to as the Resolution.it is to keep people from become so old that they become a burden to their family or society as a whole.It is considered an honorable death because of the reason it is done.
With everything that Robin Williams had to deal with,it is simply amazing that he made it to 63,where lesser people wouldn’t have made it past 50….so he was actually stronger than people claim he was.
Who are we to judge this man for what he did in the end when we should be focusing on what he has given the world up to that point: Laughs,tears,heart,acting,emoting,stories,memories and things worth remembering.
For me,personally,my fandom of Robin starts when i was 4 years old.My father had a cassette of his special ‘Reality,What A Concept’ and one particular segment is his impression of a ‘New York Echo’,which goes as follows:
'Helloooo…………..(echo says) SHUT THE FUCK UP!'
Now imagine hearing that particular bit at full volume at 7 AM…EVERY MORNING.Yes,I used it as an alarm clock for my parents.
From that point on,i was a huge fan of Robin’s……and his passing really hit me hard because,in a way,he was a father figure where I had none.When i needed to hear a very parental male voice,i watched one of his movies or listened to one of his HBO specials that I had on tape.
I didn’t care HOW he had died.My biggest issue was THAT he had died.I always saw him as being a centenarian….living to a ripe old age like Berle,Hope or Burns.
Watching CNN report on his passing,with tears streaming down my face,all i could say was a very softly spoken ‘You son of a bitch’…..and yet I understood.I didn’t live his life,so i didn’t understand what it was like to be him,but i did understand that a human can only handle so much before they give up the ghost,so to speak….otherwise,we would all live forever,no matter what happened to us,and that would also be a type of Hell.
And yet,a most amazing thing happened when he died…..the social media world came together and mourned the passing of an icon that brought so much joy to millions.Twitter trends,for approximately 6 hours the day his death was reported,consisted almost completely of the titles of his movies and/or quotes from it.
Not even the death of Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston had that kind of effect on the Twitter-verse.Robin touched everyone of almost any age…..from kids to seniors.We all had our favorite memories of Robin….and our world is a lot darker and a lot less funny or fun when all you have left is memories…..because even they fade…..and he knew this all too well.
Oh Captain,my captain…..you will be sorely missed but you will never be forgotten.