A few days have passed since the world heard the devastating news that someone who entered their lives and lodged in their hearts (even if they never met face to face), had succumbed to the depression that had followed him for much of his life. When Robin Williams died, so too did the illusion that many carried about mental health issues and addictions. That is one positive thing that came out of a desperate act to end pain. I have read professional journalists’ various takes on why he did what he did, what it all meant and perhaps ways of preventing it from happening to someone else. I have also seen input from others who have been where he was and who understand the irrational rationale that surrounded it. Blessedly, I have not heard of any ‘copycat’ events that sometimes occur when people glamorize suicide. It has brought out the best and worst in people, with some snarky, totally inappropriate comments from both ‘professionals’ and lay people.
One of the other things I have been glad to see is the impact Robin had on the lives of people, not because of his dramatic or comedy work, but because of the every day kindness and decency he exhibited. Supporting athletes with seeming physical challenges and hiring folks who were homeless, for his movie projects, are two examples. I have not read a bad word said about him. Did he have demons that plagued him? Yup. Had he faced the same doubts, relationship challenges and pitfalls into which many stumble? Uh huh…and he did it in the public eye, making it all the more daunting to recover.
There have also been beautiful tribute articles going around, as well as a one minute video. This one really touched my heart. It is about making your life spectacular; as expressed by the character he played in the movie called Jack. At his High School commencement speech, he had this wisdom to share:
“In the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer skies, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day. Make a wish. Think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.”
This is Jack’s challenge and mine to you. Instead of waiting for ‘someday’ to live full out or for your dreams to come true, plant the seeds right now, this very moment. Instead of hoping for love to come to you, BE love, live as embodied love. Rather than bemoaning your fate, create your own destiny. If you find yourself, or lose yourself feeling swamped by emotional turmoil, seek support. It may make a difference, even if for one more day. Imagine how you could touch lives and open hearts. You deserve a spectacular life!