The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Every life is sacred and there are some celebrities that we may or may not like. Celebrities may die and the majority of us would not give it a second thought, other than the glances we see in the newspaper, on the television, or from social media. For the celebrities who have won our hearts many times over, who we grew up with, and who became family to us, allow us to feel the pain and suffering of their death. The connection we feel when the beloved celebrity dies is what we should all be feeling every time a human being dies. It is a reminder of how closely related and connected we all are, through our DNA, our brain waves, our neurological connections, and our very feelings and emotions themselves, and how people, whom we may not even know personally, can change and affect our lives.
Many months ago, I wrote an article called Legends in Celebrity Death. In this article, I keep a list of celebrities who have died posthumously, meaning they will never get to see their last works or movies. I explain the very connection we feel to celebrities above, realizing that the very last movies and bits of film are the very last time we will ever see that celebrity perform. The realization is painful, hard to cope with, and unbelievable. Celebrities, like us all, are only human, and face the same problems we all face including drug addiction, depression, mental illness, sickness, disease, and death. There are no special celebrity hospitals that are designed to keep celebrities alive. The life of a celebrity is as sacred as the life of any ordinary human being, as celebrities too, are only human beings. While there are some celebrities who forget this fact, there are many other celebrities out there who look past the fame, the fortune, and constantly remind us that they are no different from us in their works of charity, lovingkindness, and humanity.
The news of the death of Robin Williams came at a shock. I never knew Robin Williams personally, but I grew up with all his works and movies, from Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Popeye, Hook, Aladdin, The Birdcage, Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Jack, Bicentennial Man, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Dead Poets Society, RV, Night at the Museum, Flubber, Jumanji, and many other works. His career spans from the late 1970s until 2014, with a movie that had been planned in 2015, which qualified him to be on the list of Legends in Celebrity Death.
It was a hurtful, sad, painful feeling to add Robin Williams to that list, which caused tears in my eyes and a pain in my throat and my heart, because I will still in disbelief at the fact that he was dead, gone from this world, and would only become a memory as the days, weeks, months, and years continue to pass. Robin Williams was the friend, the Uncle, the brother, the cousin, the father, the mother, the grandmother, the grandfather, and even had no problems acting as a convincing gay man. We all lost a loved and cherished family member on August 11, 2014.
I cannot imagine what would drive Robin Williams, who was loved and loved, to feel there was no way out of his situation, and his depression and suicidal thoughts took over, consumed all of his mind, and caused him to take his own life. What would cause a man to not see a way out, a man who could play any part, who could make anyone happy, but could not see a way to make himself happy.
I do personally know the feeling and thoughts that severe depression can cause, as I suffered it throughout my childhood, contemplating suicide many times over and over, always holding on to some hope that life would get better. In waiting for life to get better, I developed a friendship with my depression, and we watched the world pass by together, acquiring the philosophy of an optimistic realist. Optimistic Realists or Optimistic Realism is a philosophy in which, well, I’ll let Urban Dictionary define it for me:
In other words: I know good things happen and I know bad things happen and I also know things just happen. In the bad, there are lessons. In the good, there are lessons. And when neither good nor bad are happening, it is still okay to enjoy life for just happening. The idea of optimistic realism is getting through the bad, enjoying the good, and just living life waiting for the next set of events to happen.
Millions of people commit suicide everyday, as it is listed as a top killer of all humans. Most of the deaths of these people hardly affect us personally, but to their loved ones, the pain is unbearable. Suicide cannot be sugarcoated and is the murder of oneself and is a selfish act, as one may not realize the consequences of their actions. Suicide is like a tidal wave that sends pain and suffering throughout the family. The family feels the guilt and wonders if there was anything they could have done to prevent the action of suicide from happening.
As the saying goes, Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. No matter how bad one thinks they have it, they can face the consequences, get through the situation, and move on, looking to it as an experience and a lesson learned. For those who are unwilling to face the consequence and choose suicide as their means of getting through a situation, they have not really faced the situation, and it will be as if they have unfinished business on this Earth, though in death, all of our business on this Earth is permanently finished.
The death of Robin Williams will cause controversy, debates, and an awareness about depression and suicide. Robin Williams suffered from severe depression and even starred in a movie that delved into the topics of death, pain, suffering, and suicide in What Dreams May Come.
Robin Williams was a very smart man and I cannot imagine that he did not think about the consequences of his actions, but the mental illness of depression consumed his mind so much that he could not escape it and succumbed to suicide. The media did not hesitate to report how he killed himself, which should have been left only to his family to reveal their privacy. In the obituary of any newspaper, there are never reports of how someone died, but the consequences of reporting it to a curious world could have dire consequences to children and severely depressed individuals who were already contemplating suicide.
We all lost a loved one and we are all dealing with it in our own way. Talking about the death of Robin Williams still brings and will continue to bring tears to my eyes, a pain in my throat, and such a deep sorrow in my heart. I did not know the man personally, never met him, but through his films, his interviews, his comedy, his humor, there was nothing but love illuminating from him. Many celebrities refuse to work with animals or have no patience for them, but seeing Robin Williams patience and love with a Gorilla lets you know exactly how much love was in his heart. It is most painful to know that the world could not provide Robin Williams with the same love that he gave, or at least that may be the way it seems.
The majority of celebrities who worked with Robin Williams had nothing but nice things to say about him and they all feel the pain of his death, especially those who personally worked with or met the wonderful man. This is the time for all celebrities to mourn his death and raise awareness of depression and suicide research and prevention.
Every day from now on, I must wake up to a world in which the reality is knowing that Robin Williams is no longer in it, no longer alive, and no longer existing. Of course, my life continues as normal, just as it must. Many celebrities before him have died and they will continue to die. While we completely accept and understand the death of a lot of these celebrities, reading the news, making a note in our minds that this celebrity is no longer living, it is the death of Robin Williams that particularly sparks us all, for we all lost a loved family member who entertained us in our own personal way, and we experience the pain in our hearts together.
My deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family of Robin Williams. I will never know the pain you are experiencing, but I do know that I lost someone that I loved too.
In Loving Memory, Rest in Peace
Robin Williams 1951 – 2014
In the wise wisdom of Robin Williams, I leave you with powerful speech from Dead Poet Society:
Seize the Day!