Laughing Through Pain: An Open Letter to the Family and Friends of Robin Williams
It was to my hearts dismay that I learned of Robin’s suicide in 2014. He was one of my favorite actors growing up, and I quickly fell in love with the charismatic persona he portrayed in so many of his roles. Due to what I saw on screen, I couldn’t imagine that a man who seemed so light-hearted and happy would in fact be hiding so much pain.Although Sadly, Robin was not the first nor will he be the last person to hide such suffering. Many people who struggle with serious mental illnesses find that masking their pain through laughter is the best way for them to move forward, for it allows them to experience some relief from the darkness and makes it easier for other’s surrounding them to believe they are in fact ok.
To Robin’s family: I am sorry that you lost such an amazing husband and father. I realize that although it has been a few years there are still probably questions of what you could have done differently, and how you could have made Robin happier or looked for signs that somethings was wrong. Please know that while these are healthy questions to ask through the grieving process, they are better not to be dwelled upon. It is obvious that Robin was sincerely loved and cared for, and that towards the end it was evident to at least some that something was amiss. In the mist of life is can be difficult to know exactly what the right decision to make is, but what is important is that you did your best to take care of Robin and give him the love he deserved.
To Robin’s friends: How sad it can be to lose a friend so unexpectedly, and while it is easy to get angry and contemplate why the person made the choice that they did, it is imperative to understand that they were in an ill state of mind and a lot of pain. And of course, while this does not make the choice they made a good one, it may make it easier for you to cope with the reason why they made the choice that they did.
While I am sorry that Robin’s death became such a public affair, I am glad that you had so any to rally around you and share in your grief. Robin was truly a remarkable individual who touched the lives of so many and he will certainly not soon be forgotten.