As many of you know Robin Williams unfortunately took his own life last month.
Unfortunately I was never a big fan of his films – the only two movies that I saw was Mrs. Doubtfire and Hook. Also unfortunately, I may have missed the punchline when he died because I ended up treating it like any other celebrity death.
However it was something else that drew me to his passing; the circumstances. Being the curious fellow that I am I decided to do a little personal research into why he took his life.
Of course, why would such a prolific actor, comedian, and general saint take his own life after bringing so much happiness to others?
This question was answered after going though some the articles written about him by his fellow stars. One that struck me was written by Carrie Fisher. Her testimony, among others, seemed to point how even though Robin Williams could make people happy about themselves, he had the inability to make himself feel happy. She went on to state that he would “absorb the atmosphere of the room” and had “no boundaries [when it came to emotions]”.
I remember seeing this quote from Robins Williams a few years ago that struck me:
Now I realized, in my own way, that perhaps Robin Williams was a causality of his own greatness.
When you have ideas and/or see things that no one else can. When you are so different from everybody else to the point where do you feel alone, you really do become depressed.
After some time had passed of his death, I began to remember that I too had this same feeling. There are times – and they still happen – where I’m just around people where I’m truly alone.
The times where you can’t relate to people because of the humor you have, or the things that you see in people. You know the conversations would start as…
- Me: “Did you that?”
- Friend: “What?”
- Me: “That…!”
- Friend: “Dude you’re just weird for seeing (insert minor personal detail of person we’re observing”
I’d notice things; whether people are married or not, whether they have a significant other, whether they had a certain type of job. I’d go out of my way to notice tiny details of people – even my friends!
But alas I’d always be scoffed at. Told that I was too noisy for my own good.
But at least now I can use my observations to entertain friends.
In the end, though I may have not cared too much about his passing, what I’ve realized is that my experience through life has odd similarities to what the great one was suffering through – which over the decades of his life, lead him to take his own life.
A lesson from him to me if you will. A lesson I intend on learning from one of the greatest comedians of our time.
Thank you Robin Williams, I hope you are much happier where you are now.