There have been so many mixed opinions about his death and suicide. I certainly have my own take on this and it is off the beaten path as far as an opinion.
Let me start by saying I am not one of those people who are super fans and will do just about anything to meet or enjoy a person they adore. I do however love finding out about people who intrigue me; either because of their extreme talent or intelligence. Robin Williams has been one of these people in my life. I think I have seen the majority of his movies; Grew up on Mork and Mindy; can’t resist a good talk show or any other interview. There is no favorite movie…the body of work is incredible. My favorite interview, Inside the Actors Studio, Season 7, episode 10 Robin Williams (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IDy5GlUuf8). Love peoples stories.
If you were a fan who knew any of Robin Williams back story…you are grateful that he made it work for 63 years. His personal demons by all rights, could have and should have taken him much sooner. Robin hung in there, continuing to bless us with his craft, his gift. That was a mind that worked faster than anyone I know. I feel joy to have lived in parallel with his life.
It upsets me when people choose to judge something they have no personal knowledge of. Mental illness and drug addiction, these vices and diseases come in a million forms and are different yet the same for people who battle them. I have many friends and family who have and do face these battles and battles they are. They never succeed in winning the war. Whether that means a lifetime of torment and dogged control or taking their own life through suicide or overdose. It is rarely a choice made with a clear mind. Think of being unable to control your thoughts no matter how hard you try. Although frustrating is a word that comes to mind…I would think there has to be a word that far exceeds this feeling. There are people who get a handle on this with help, either stabilizing drugs or great support. That is a long drawn out constant that is hard to maintain. It appears that is what kept him with us for so long.
Although I actually have faced some of these problems myself. I feel fortunate that I have never come to or understand what brings someone to feel so helpless that they could take their own life. What twists and turns the mind must take to get to that place is a total mystery to me. I have however faced situations where my physiology betrays me and controls my thoughts and actions. Predominantly through hormone imbalances I have faced throughout my life. On the other hand I have had to fight so hard for my life that I want to scream out “nothing is worth taking your own life for”. It would be futile in the long term; they want to believe, but their minds betray them. That is why short term solutions and help work for a while. The sad reality is you cannot watch another human being 24/7 to protect them from them-self.
In the press so many have attacked the issue of suicide using words like coward, selfish etc. Also, in Harry Rollins of the LA Weekly’s case calling him out as someone who should have somehow had more control and choose his children over his demons. Here it comes…California girl calling you out Harry. Harry if you think he wouldn’t rather be here as the father his children deserved, you are dead wrong. I say that without reserve. And I don’t know them, but think they probably have a much greater understanding of how difficult being in his world was. I would go so far as to assume they were grateful for their time they had with him. The people close to you, whether admittedly or not, always know the constant suffering.
Being a born artist (not a career but a calling for me). I salute Robin Williams for the amazing life of accomplishment for all of us to have and hold forever. To his family I hope that there are memories to hold you through your lives and remember him as the kind beautiful person he was to the world. Celebrate the Life.
There are people out there that can help: http://www.afsp.org Seek Help Always!
Russell Brand has some unbelievable insight through his personal challenges: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/06/russell-brand-philip-seymour-hoffman-drug-laws; http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahprime/Oprah-Prime-Russell-Brand-and-Heroin-Addiction
In remembrance of my brother-in-law, Jeremy Stamper gone too young! Do you think he wanted to leave these beautiful boys?!