Like most people, I’m deeply saddened by the death of Robin Williams, on many different levels. He was a great performer and I will miss his humor and wit, but also his devotion to serious roles. I never met him, but I get the impression from others that he was a caring and loving man. There aren’t enough of those in the world. The way he died hurts me; to think he was so overwhelmed by hopelessness that he didn’t want to live any longer. It seems like such a contradiction to his comedian persona.
But if you watch his expressions, even when he is cracking people up, you can almost see the sadness in his face. You would think Robin Williams would have been the happiest person alive, because he could always make someone else laugh, but that wasn’t the case. I think that makes me sadder than anything else.
Our teenage daughter, who usually doesn’t comment much when entertainers die, said that Robin’s death really saddened her. My wife said it best: Robin Williams spanned the generations. Everyone young and old loved him. I never heard anyone say that they disliked him. Usually, all you had to do was mention his name and a smile would appear on someone’s face.
Maybe his ability to blurt out the things that made us laugh so hard was also his curse. Maybe he couldn’t shut it off. Perhaps his mind ran around in circles constantly until it wore him out. He could have been like Sherlock Holmes, dependent on substances to dull his brain when there were no mysteries to be solved. I don’t know. It’s just conjecture.
I guess we should pay as much attention to the sad smiles as we do the happy smiles.
Robin, I cry for you now at your passing just as hard as I used to laugh with you, but I promise I will still smile when someone mentions your name.