I woke like many people this morning, shocked by still feeling a sense of loss for a man I never knew, Mr. Robin Williams. I am not a particularly outward emotional person you see dear reader, so the sense of loss I have felt over Robin Williams is somewhat perplexing to me. It made me stop and reflect on why the death of a celebrity has triggered something inside.
Even though I, like many, never knew him aside from the face he presented to the world through his artistic endeavours whether is be films, TV or stand-up; Robin Williams, provided so much joy, laughter and sadness while still being humble.
So what is it about Mr. Williams that gives me the trigger?
Could is be from my favourite movie of his, Good Will Hunting? Mr. Williams, like most of his movies, ad-libbed throughout, using a script as only a rough template for the characters he gave life to. Did you know the scene where he delivered the incredibly wise beyond his years quote ‘People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff’ when talking about his wife farting in bed, was all ad-libbed. The insightfulness he delivered to this role was nothing short of perfection, and as a social worker in training really resonates to the life experience that these types of roles need.
Could the trigger be the delightful Mrs. Doubtfire? A character that loved his kids more than anything, and being an absolute goofball when spending time with them. It makes me think of my dad taking me grocery shopping, walking behind people pulling faces or dancing down the isles to make laugh and me embarrassed. It makes me think about him bringing stuff animals home from clints crazy bargains when he went in town and indulged my imagination by having conversations with me and my toys, like Mr. Williams with his characters, my dad and I bought my toys to life.
I think the trigger in Mr. Williams passing however, is the close to home feeling we all know so well, but mostly forget; Mental Illness. Mr. Williams was so busy entertaining us, making us smile; it is hard to believe that such a joyful man was not always smiling on the inside. Much like my dad, always smiling when I was around but fighting demons in the inside. The pain from losing of my dad at 21 is something even now at 30 I can still never describe. My heart goes out to Mr. William’s family, especially his kids. This passing is a reminder that mental illness does not discriminate. So I thank you Mr. Williams for providing another life lesson, albeit tragic circumstances, but the reminder that those who smile on the outside often carry great darkness within and that no one is immune from mental illness.
So today take a moment to hug those dear, check on those always smiling on the outline and remember mental illness is not a weakness and there is help available.
XO – Lifeline: 13 11 14