BY KIMBERLY BENNETT
“Oh Captain! My Captain!” –Dead Poets Society
Millions experienced a tragic loss on Aug. 11, 2014 when the media informed the world of Robin Williams’s shocking demise. According to The New York Times, Mara Buxbaum, Williams’s publicist, found him unconscious inside his home and alerted the 911 dispatcher that he was not breathing. An emergency response team arrived at the scene and declared Williams dead at 12:02 PM that afternoon.
He was 63 years old when he died.
Once the investigation of Williams’s death was completed, the media was notified that Williams had committed suicide by hanging himself with his belt. Buxbaum disclosed that Williams, for the longest time, had been “battling severe depression.” Susan Schneider, Williams’s widow, recently released information stating that her husband was showing early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease alongside his depression and anxiety. According to CNN, a friend of the Williams family informed the news company that “[the] diagnosis of the progressive illness was ‘an additional fear and burden in his life.’”
Williams’s death devastated millions around the world. While everyone mourned the loss of such a phenomenal actor and comedian, many celebrities paid their respects to Williams through social media and television. For example, Conan O’Brian learned of the late comedian’s death while he was recording his late night talk-show: “Conan.” Instead of following his show’s agenda, he paid his respects to the late actor by commenting on Williams’s character. You can see O’Brian’s response below.
If you really feel up to grabbing some tissues, you can view Jimmy Fallon’s sentimental tribute from “The Tonight Show” as well.
Ben Affleck, co-star of Williams from “Good Will Hunting,” posted his response on Facebook: “Heartbroken. Thanks chief — for your friendship and for what you gave the world. Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made [Matt Damon’s] and my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything. May you find peace my friend. #RobinWilliams.”
Celebrities aside, everyone who grew up with Robin Williams’s movies are aching. Even three days later, people are still mourning his death, and it would not be a surprise if the world mourns the loss of Williams for an entire year—that’s how great of a person he was. He was well-loved by millions, and it was apparent he loved his family dearly. Shortly before his death, he posted a picture on Instagram detailing his love for his daughter, Zelda Williams.
No one knew just how much Williams was suffering until it was too late.
The death of Robin Williams should be a wakeup call to people around the world. It was no secret that he was struggling with depression at points in his life. He was also open about his alcohol and drug addictions, but he still continued to make his fans laugh through comedy.
The late journalist, Erma Bombeck, once said, “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”
People generally use laughter to hide their internal sufferings—Williams was one premiere example. All around the world, people are suffering—wanting, wishing and waiting to be heard but never are until it is too late. In memory of Robin Williams, be sure to tell your loved ones how much you love them and are there for them. A simple conversation goes a long way. As an underlining message, if you know anybody who is suffering from depression and contemplating suicide, do not wait until it is too late.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and seek help immediately.
And if you, yourself, are going through a rough time, just remember one very important thing: your life is worth living. Never doubt that for an instant.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”
So, as a final tribute to Robin Williams, treasure your life for you are precious in each and every way.