I don’t write about celebrities…their lives are often strangely clad in veneers of gold sequins that probably hide so much than we could ever imagine. But today is different. This one is different.
And I’m not really certain why but somehow the news of Robin Williams’ death imapcted my movement across the time and space of my life. I’m reaching for my cup of tea slower than usual, contemplating on the magic that makes the honey melt into the heat of the water. And where tea gets its unique flavour. It is not coffee nor is it cocoa or hot chocolate.
I’m staying longer on my knees, saying little to my God but feeling ripped apart by emotion. I’m starring fully at people, meeting their eyes and wondering if their world is bright and peaceful.
Robin Williams’ death has made me pause and reflect on the irony of life and death and the strangeness of this moment in time in our world. The situation we find ourselves in where some are pulling at life desperate to hold on it their fingernails clammering and clutching while others would do anything to make the pain they feel go away, even to stop being alive. Im not sure about you but my brain stops processing right about there.
I, too, watched Mrs. Doubtfire as a kid. It was a family event. An affair of laughter, family bonding and enjoyment. It wasn’t my favourite movie in the whole world but it was just good to know that Robin Williams existed in the world.
I don’t know the man, and yet I know him enough to feel a sense of loss at his death. A heaviness in my chest. He seemed happy. He really did. How could he seem happy when he was dying inside?
There is something wrong in the world. Something wrong with our culture if we are walking around carrying daggers in our hearts, that we are secretly stabbing ourselves as we lie on our beds in the dark. Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with this picture?
Apparently 16 million Americans suffered from depression in 2012. Here in Australia, at least 6 people die from suicide every day. These are staggering figures. But even more disturbing is the realisation that there are real people behind those statistics. It is easy to distance myself by seeing them just as numbers but it always hits home when we undress those numbers and are left with hearts, minds and limbs just like our own.
So what can we do? What can I do?
I wish we could all hold hands and sing kumbaya till our voices get husky. I wish that very much. But that is a fantasy. The reality is that this issue is real and it is here. It is requiring courage and compassion. So much compassion.
Maybe there is little we can do. But if we know someone who is sitting in the dark somewhere tethering on the edge, all we can do is love them. Love them senseless. We can try.
Jim Norton says “one of the most important attributes humans don’t have is the ability to see themselves the way others do.”
I agree. And maybe one of our greatest failings is that we don’t say. We hide our voices and shroud them in silence; that we don’t tell these humans just how wonderful they are, that we hold back thinking surely they must know.
I’m not saying compliments will save people’s lives. But love can. At least we must give it a chance.
I don’t know when this heaviness I feel will lift. When I will no longer be plagued with the shock of Robin Williams’ death. My only antidote is the jealousy I feel for human life. The love I so unashamedly hold for every soul out there. I will rest my heart in that.