The story is told of a man who consulted a psychiatrist about his struggle with severe depression. The psychiatrist said, “I know a clown who’s so famous for making people laugh. I would like you to watch him.” The man sadly replied, “I am that clown.”
Sadly, it’s no longer a story.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw on my Facebook timeline that the beloved comedian, Robin Williams, was discovered dead in his home at Northern California due to an apparent suicide. According to the Marin County Sheriff's Office, “At this time, the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.” (Source: HuffPost)
In my heart, I secretly hoped it was another Internet hoax.
But it was not.
Williams made us all laugh and, as one friend lamented, “It’s sad that he could not make one person laugh. Himself.” Another friend added, “He is a tortured soul.” Lately, it is said that he’s been battling severe depression.
His wife, Susan Schneider, issued this statement:
This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions. (Ibid)Now is not the time to debate the morality of suicide. Now is not the time to judge.
Now is the time to grieve.
Now is the time to be sensitive to see the pain behind a friend’s smile. Now is the time to start listening to people’s heartbeats.
Now is also the time to remember one of his unforgettable movie lines in one of his classic movies, “Dead Poets Society.”
“Carpe Diem. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.”
I think Williams would like us to revisit those words again. I believe that’s how he wants to be remembered.
He seized the day. He made his life extraordinary. What about you?