We’re born and raised on a healthy dose of cartoons and child-friendly family movies. When I make this generalization, it’s because I’m basing it off my upbringing (which is exactly how you don’t make generalizations because they aren’t well-informed if it’s only based off of yourself).
The title of this post is misleading. It sounds cynical, sad, worn out. I don’t mean it in any of those ways.
Each person’s passing affects somebody, somewhere. Losing a family member if heartbreaking. Any time it happens, it feels as though the world has collapsed in on itself and you can’t bring yourself to be you because, “what’s the point?” And then, eventually, you become yourself again, though never forgetting anyone that has passed.
I remember when Princess Diana died and when Michael Jackson died because my mom was devastated. Not because they were family, obviously I wasn’t related to either—but some people just represent an era, memories, idols, role models, etc. and when they pass away, you feel something has left with them.
Until last week, I’m not sure I’d ever witnessed a celebrity’s passing that felt as though part of my life was solidifed in history and could no longer progress beyond reruns.
For weeks on end as a child, I watched solely Jumanji and Mrs. Doubtfire. I still watch both of those movies at least twice a year. I saw Dead Poets Society in my third year of high school. I’ve seen Aladdin a ton of times, like most people.
I saw the movie “RV” and loved it—not because it was good, but because Robin Williams was in it.
Each time I watch one of these tributes, expecting a sense of closure—I begin sobbing. I watch other celebrities I look up to get choked up, post memories, write about their personal interactions with such a great comedian.
I look back to a few weeks ago at my job where we were making pizza and listening to the comedy station. Robin Williams stand up came on — sometimes, I wouldn’t catch where the joke began, but the punchline still left me in stitches.
Robin Williams was found dead a week ago and I still can’t fathom the idea of there only being 4 more movies with his name attached coming out in the next year—and then that’s it.
He was the one person I could always put in a top-anything list: actors, comedians, celebrities. It’s tragic that his depression wouldn’t lessen its grasp and he took his life.
He wasn’t just a comedian. More people understand his pains than he realized—but he always gave and gave to others.
Give kindness to everyone. Accept them. No one should have to ever worry about sharing their struggles and thinking that the person receiving the information will try to bat it away like it’s not a serious thing.
All forms of mental illness are serious.
There’s a homeless man that walks around sometimes out in front of my job. He asked us to call 9-1-1 because, “He wanted to hurt himself.” So, of course, we were concerned and called 9-1-1.
The cops arrived pretty quickly. Upon seeing the homeless gentleman, the cop says, “Are we going to do this again? You always have people call us. You always say you want to hurt yourself. Are we going to go through this again.”
I don’t know the man; I heard him referred to as “Kells” I couple times. He didn’t seem to remember interacting with the cop before, but the officer definitely recognized him—and wouldn’t take this repeat conversation seriously.
Eventually, my job’s window got busy and I couldn’t see the rest. I don’t know if they took him to get help, to have someone care for him. He wanted help and we did as he asked—so I can only hope that the cops did as he asked.
But did they? And why do I have to worry if they did or not? Why is there even a question as to whether or not they considered his pain to be serious or not?
My point is— we lose people, and it hurts horribly. The one thing that always keeps me chugging is that I know there is someone, somewhere in this world that cares, or will care, or has cared before. Memories can dismantle us, but they can also stave off the pain.
R.I.P Robin Williams— I wish you had stayed.