Monday, August 11, 2014

This post isn't funny.

Which is terrible, because it's all about a man who was one of the most inspiring comedic masterpieces of our time.

I received a text from Peter during the last half hour of school today. My client had just had a meltdown over wearing an apron to finger paint in, and after losing his struggle and feeling completely betrayed by both me and his teacher, we were allowing him to take a break with a preferred toy on the floor. The text simply said:

"Darling! Robin Williams is dead. :("

I haven't seen a new film starring Robin Williams in years. I have never met him in real life, or joined a fan club in honour of him, yet this news knocked all the air out of my lungs and made the room spin a little. I felt completely foolish to feel like I needed to sit in a corner and cry over a man I had never known. The feeling grew even more intense and sickening still when I asked what he had died from and learned, "coroner says suicide by asphyxiation."

I finished my school day, then headed off to Kailua to my afternoon job where I watch a sweet little 2 year old boy who has a great love of water and geckos. In a quick scroll through Facebook during dinner time as my little boy ate, I saw my entire newsfeed dedicated to this one great man. I learned I was not alone in feeling personally harmed by his passing, or by his choice to do so.

Now, at home, as I tried to work on another blog post which I have been pushing through to no avail, I couldn't help but to wrestle with these tears that are making it so hard to see, or the fact that my heart feels so physically heavy. To try and understand and explain to myself why the death of a celebrity would hurt me so bad.

Here's my attempt at articulating: My childhood had moments that were defined by the talents and presence of Robin Williams. His voice has been familiar to me since I can remember, and I have spent hours watching and rewatching beloved movies by my own choosing simply because he was in them. I have quoted him and imitated him. I have revered him. His death alone feels like a beloved grandfather who was there for me every step of the way is gone. Yet it doesn't feel as though that is what really makes my pain. It is, in fact, knowing that someone who brought me endless memories of joy and happiness could not comprehend how important and beloved he was in this world. I feel regret. I feel somehow responsible that I was unable to return the favour of laughter to this great man.

I know that a feeling of responsibility is an unrealistic one. Beyond the fact that Robin Williams never knew I existed, suicide is not an act of selflessness. I myself have toyed only too dangerously with suicide, and I know that in those moments there is no one that I was thinking of, no one I was blaming, and no one I was hating except myself.

Know that if you are ever thinking that the world would be better off without you, you are most undoubtably wrong. You matter to someone, you matter to many, and your death would cause so much pain on behalf of all those who cared for you.

Right now I feel inspired by the pain I feel to do two things:

1) Be more active and open about being a friend to anyone I come across.
2) Become someone whose death, when it occurs, will make the world remember all the times I made their life better and smile.

Okay, well, I mean, like, don't SMILE smile when I die, guys. 
Cry a little bit. 
I just mean, think "wow, she was so [adjective here] and I will miss her" 

Because, from Zeus to Hades, I will miss Robin Williams. 

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