As I am uploading this, it is still less than six hours since I learned of the death of Robin Williams, who died earlier today of what the news is saying is an apparent suicide. It’s very hard for me to accept that someone who’s life’s work was making other people laugh was so eaten inside that he felt he had to do this. He leaves behind friends and family and a magnificent body of work and a shaken world that never thought it would end this way.
I know many people who suffer from depression, and I suffer from it myself. I also know that many people who do not suffer from depression conflate it with ungratefulness – they perceive an inability to be happy as a person’s refusal to be happy. Without knowing the details of his life, I wonder if this made it harder for Robin – to be so successful in so many ways and still hurt inside.
If you or someone you care for has depression, please be kind – to them and to yourself. Depression is an illness, and people are not made lesser for having illnesses. I believe that this will be a hard night for many of us, but if there is a message to be taken from this event, let it be that we must always let those around us know that they are loved.