I picked up my newspaper yesterday morning and brought it in the house. I always let my husband read it first, since he has to go out to a real job that he hates every day, so I pulled it from the plastic bag for him and opened it. As I set it on the kitchen table, I noticed the headline and it seemed as if all the lights in the world dimmed for a moment.
“Oh, no!” I thought, “Not Robin Williams! Not suicide!!”
But it was true. The demons of addiction and depression got another one. They showered darkness upon him and took him when he was alone. He brought so much light into the world but it was not enough to save him. Celebrity, fame and wealth were not enough to save him.
I decided I didn’t want to be alone with this news all day, so I went to Facebook. Everyone had something to say. I read what James Taylor had to say and I read what George Takei had to say and I found my way, eventually, to what Liz Gilbert had to say. Then I spent hours reading comments on her post, because so many people felt the need to comment and they were all saying the same thing.
“It could have been me.”
That was what was all over Facebook yesterday. There are too damn many of us who fight this rotten disease every single day of our lives. We see another soul fall and we circle up. We join hands. We tell each other, “I’m here for you. There’s still light in the world. Don’t give up.”
Our world lost a great soul this week. I can’t add anything profound to all the words that have been spoken about his genius and his magic and his light. I can’t pull out inspiring quotes from his famous roles. The one that always comes to mind when I think of Robin Williams is the one from Batty in Ferngully, “Gravity works!”
My kids watched that video over and over again when they were young and that line is what we all say whenever we trip and fall or drop something. Gravity works.
Today it sounds too much like, “We all fall down.”
Sorry. I wanted to write something uplifting and inspiring but I just don’t have it in me today. I’m sad and I’m angry at the relentless darkness that whispers in our ears and tries to pull us down into the pit. Robin Williams fell, but he fought for sixty-three years and that was a valiant fight. He leaves a rich legacy of joy and humor and delight.
We will have that to carry with us as we circle up, hold hands and fight on.