A farewell to our captain
As you probably already know, Robin Williams has passed away. He committed suicide earlier this week, and to be honest it came as less of a shock to me than it did to many others. No, I didn’t have any insight into his personal life that made this less of a shock, I just understand a bit of how funny people are on the inside. I’ll explain.
I’ve always been the class clown type, always cracking jokes and trying to make others laugh. While many others benefited from this, they likely never realized that I did so because I was damaged inside. Cracked.com did an article on just this the other day, and it’s very true. Although I always sought to make people laugh, a big reason I did was so they wouldn’t hate me. When I was a kid, I was often disliked by my peers right out of the gates, just by being me. My way around that was to make them laugh, since it’s harder to hate someone who makes you laugh. That continued into my adult life, and is still prevalent to some extent. I’ve known quite a few hilarious people as well, and they are/were just as fucked up inside as I, some more so. It’s a difficult thing to deal with, and much of it stems from some form of depression and/or a lack of self worth. Rodney Dangerfield, one of my comedic idols, also suffered from this, and Robin Williams was no different. These are two of the funniest people ever to exist, in my opinion, and though they possessed a profound ability to make others laugh, they would often sink into deep depression. I can’t speak for what got them down, but for me it was a mix of many things, acceptance being a big part of it. This is nothing to sneeze at either. Sure, people can rebound from depression with tons of therapy and whatnot, but when it goes on for this long, it becomes a core part of them. The depression or lack of self worth can be so deeply rooted that, in my case, it cannot be fully overcome, just accepted. Some wounds never heal, no matter how many doors you open and how many demons you face. Now, the demons have taken one of the most phenomenal entertainers of the past hundred years.
I honestly can’t think of anything Robin was bad in, or that I felt ‘meh’ about. From his stand up routines, to his work in Comic Relief, to his many movies (both comedic and serious), he’s made us laugh, cry, think, and dream. He inspired so many people, especially in comedy, and had a presence that could never be recreated. These are shoes that cannot be filled. We’ll always have his movies, his jokes, his inspiration, and his awesomeness, and we can introduce him to the generations to come. I haven’t been able to watch any of his videos or movies yet, since it’s still pretty fresh, but I will again. Everything from Good Morning Vietnam to Mrs. Doubtfire to Jumanji to Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come will always be with us as a testament to how phenomenal of an entertainer this man was. I truly hope he has found some peace, and is perhaps hanging out in some afterlife with Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Jonathan Winter, Red Fox, and Benny Hill. One thing is for sure, IF there is an afterlife, it’ll be fucking hilarious! Be at peace good sir, we will forever miss your genius…
If you know of someone who is struggling with depression and/or self destructive behavior, do not hesitate to act. You don’t need an intervention, just let them know that you see that they are in pain, and you’re there for them. Talk to them, show that you care, and be there if they need you. I assure you, it’s importance is paramount. The only thing worse than being in pain, is watching everyone around you ignore it. Yes, I speak from experience.