My Tribute to a Fallen Star
The passing of Robin Williams is a tragedy. And this is something that is said of the dead, out of obligation, and yet here it seems like we are selling him short. Robin Williams was a genius, obviously funny, surprisingly ranged, and an extremely talented actor.
Few comedians have been able to step into a serious role and absolutely inhabit a character the same way he did. He was praised by critics and fans a-like for his dramatic work. He gave so much to so many; making family films with Disney while at the same time, never losing his edge when it came to his stand-up acts. His wit, timing, and manic energy broke through generational barriers and parents and children laughed together as he made his way into our theaters, our homes, and our hearts.
And with the death of all public figures comes the inevitable judgment from the masses. (https://celebrity.yahoo.com/blogs/celeb-news/zelda-williams-quits-social-media-in-wake-of-father-s-death-150000165.html) Everyone wants to contribute their two cents and their diagnosis, but other than those who knew him personally, do we really have the right to make any assumptions?
He was public, but seldom candid about his struggle with both addiction and depression, and we know what the coroner said, so it is no secret that he took his own life. This is a difficult fact for people to accept, as not only was he funny, he was wealthy, and successful, and working, and acclaimed. He had accomplished all that anyone could ever dream of, yet he was battling with an illness that ultimately took his life.
In a way, he took with him a part of me, and a part of most of you as well. We, who grew up so familiar with him, sometimes, felt as if you knew him personally. He made movies nonstop since I was born, and he was going make them until he or I died of old age. He took that magic with him upon his departure, and for a brief moment we all shared a little of his profound pain. A moment of tears for all of the laughter he allowed us to share over the years; our tribute to a fallen star.
If there is a silver lining to this horrible tragedy, it is that it pulls the curtain back on a very real epidemic in the US and will hopefully cause a positive discussion about diseases of the mind.
Sometimes we feel the need to condemn the actions of others, but until walking in their shoes, you could never now what it is like… fortunately most of us will never have to.
Depression, addiction, and bipolar are real diseases, that are affecting real people. Comedians, actors, family members and the people you care about are probably being affected in some way. Many times these sicknesses go undiagnosed and untreated due to stigma and just generally not wanting to burden others, however advancements and research in the field are always offering new insights and alternatives for treatment. If you are one of the millions suffering from clinical depression or bipolar, seek help and support, and know that you are not alone, and that you are loved by someone.
The Williams family is asking well-wishers to send contributions to charities close to the actor’s heart in lieu of flowers. Suggested organizations include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Challenged Athletes, USO, theMuhammad Ali Parkinson Center, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.