Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams

I just sat down to my computer wondering what I was going to write in this space tonight, when I received word via Facebook that Robin Williams is dead.  I immediately thought that couldn't be true.  It's probably a hoax.  Robin Williams, one of the funniest men in the world, couldn't be dead.  He's too funny... too alive.  I began scrolling through my Facebook feed and there they were, post after post with the same news.  Robin Williams was dead.

I've had an interesting perspective on death since my wife died.  There are those who get very bent out of shape when a race horse has to be put down.  Then there are those who never get upset even when they lose a loved one.  My perspective on death is a mix of different feelings, and those feelings can run the gamut from intense sadness to anger to disbelief to calmness.  Rarely does shock enter the picture, though I know I experienced it when my wife died.  I know this just happened, but with Robin Williams death, I'm feeling dread.  In several of the stories I just read, there was mention of Robin's immense depression, and the "alleged" cause of death, suicide, and, having just passed through (and still immersed in) my own feelings of depression, I feel like I know how he must have felt leading up to his death.

Please don't misunderstand.  I am not feeling suicidal.  If there's one thing I've never gone through, throughout my feelings of depression, it's having suicidal thoughts.  It's an alien concept to me.  I have no desire to end my life, if for no other reason than I never want my daughter to lose both her parents.  I don't fear death.  I know that the Lord is my Savior, and that life everlasting with Him is my ultimate destiny.  But I'm in no rush to get there.

What I can identify with is the likely sadness and hopelessness Robin felt.  It must be even harder, I'll assume, if one doesn't have that personal relationship with Jesus.  I have no idea if Robin had a relationship with Jesus.  Only he would know that.  But my guess is he did not.  Life is God's greatest gift.  To throw that gift away is the ultimate sorrow.  How awful must it be to feel so lowly, so badly, so poorly, so hopeless, that the only answer is to take your own life?  His actions are his own, of course, but I know that depression only magnifies those feelings of hopelessness and sadness.

We'll always have his movies and TV shows.  I'll always remember the first time I ever saw him, as Mork, the alien from Ork, encountering the characters from my favorite show, Happy Days.  In his meeting with Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard), he wanted to take Richie back to his planet because he was "humdrum", and then he had his big encounter with the Fonz (Henry Winkler), who battled Mork's finger with his thumb, to save his friend, Richie.

I pray for his family and loved ones.  He was a wonderfully funny man.  He was flawed, of course.  Aren't we all?  None of us is perfect.  I pray that he knew Jesus.

Rest in Peace.

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