Damn You Robin Williams!

Not since the untimely demise of my favorite comedian, Greg Giraldo, have I been particularly bothered about a celebrity death.

Sure I may think, ‘that’s sad and a shame’ such as the deaths of Whitney Houston or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, but it’s not something that will be in my thoughts for very long.

Giraldo was different for me because I felt like I knew the guy. 

His comedy spoke directly to me (and still does), nobody ever had a bad word to say about him and on social media he treated his fans like friends with nothing seemingly too much trouble.

Then yesterday I heard about Robin Williams and I felt like somebody had punched me in the stomach. 

I barely slept last night for thinking about a guy I have never met and who I really do not know.

 It wasn’t long before I read the first Social Media comment saying that Williams had acted selfishly in taking his own life when he had a family who cared for him.

 Twas ever thus.

 I have heard this argument dozens of times and it’s ignorant and crass.

It makes about as much sense as saying somebody who was killed in a car accident was being selfish for driving on such a busy road when they had a family to care for.

Nobody takes their own life because they are selfish.

They do so because they see no other option and they are devoid of something that most of us never lose, hope.

Imagine not having hope? 

Can you even?

I know I can’t.

Hope is what keeps us going during the tough times. 

Cancer survivors have hope. People bouncing back from bankruptcy have hope. And the people in the Middle East have hope.

Hope is a fundamental building block of life and having it removed makes the entire structure shaky.

People suffering from severe depression do not see the world they way most of us do, and it’s not their fault.

I have said this before, and no doubt I’ll say it again.

Depression isn’t talked about enough. 

There’s still a stigma surrounding the condition whether we like to believe it or not. 

As a Society, we’re really not very enlightened when it comes to depression.

And that’s unacceptable to me and it should be to you too because I bet you know somebody fighting the black dog on a daily basis..

There is no difference between a mental illness and a physical one in terms of seriousness.

Both can lead to the same end.

 A friend of mine posted this on Facebook

“You don’t need fame and fortune or be a great person to know this struggle.

I know this struggle. And I am not great. 

If he couldn’t handle it, what makes me think that I can?”

This bit saddens me because I don’t want anybody taking that line of reasoning.

Being a great performer does not equip you to deal with sever depression any more than being a great car mechanic equips you to deal with a tooth abscess better than others.

There’s no correlation.

No doubt people will think he had money so therefore he had resources and that’s true.

But what good were resources if he had no hope?

Without hope he wouldn’t have employed all the resources at his disposal because he wouldn’t have believed they would work.

Last Saturday I was talking with a close friend about comedy. We have been to many shows together and pretty much seen everybody we want to see.

He asked me who was the one comic I haven’t seen who is alive and who I want to see the most. I didn’t hesitate in saying, Robin Williams.

That’s somewhat of an unfortunate coincidence, but what really bothers me is that we had the same conversation about 3 years ago.

That time I answered, Greg Giraldo.

Damn you Robin Williams for dying, along with millions of others, I’m gonna miss ya man!

Image Courtesy of Pengrin