What Suicide Isn’t (RIP, Robin Williams)

I was coming home from a long day of working when I saw the news on Twitter. Today, probably sometime this morning, Robin Williams, beloved American actor, passed away in his California home. It is suspected that he committed suicide, probably from asphyxiation.

In the short hour since his death broke to the world, I’ve seen a number of reactions. I’ve seen people saddened and shocked. I’ve seen them skeptical and decreeing how suicide is a “waste”. I’ve seen countless photos, videos, and quotations from the many characters Williams played, each one meaning so much to all of us who watched him in all of his films. In fact, I will be watching my favourite Robin Williams film, “Dead Poets’ Society”, tonight, in memoriam.

But I was compelled to write this article because like any mental-illness related accident or death, there but for the grace of God go I. And it’s not only in poor taste to deride a man who by all accounts, was going though severe depression at the time of his death, it’s also just plain wrong. Suicide isn’t “giving up” or “giving in”. Suicide is a terrible decision made by someone whose pain is so great that they can no longer hold it, and feel they have no other option in life but to end it. It’s a decision you can’t take back, and a decision that will affect your friends and family forever. It is not taken lightly.

Losing a person to suicide may feel like a waste. And I think it’s fair to react to it that way, especially in the first hard days of grief. For someone looking in, it does seem like a waste – especially in the case of Williams, who was a brilliantly funny man and a talented actor. But imagine, if you will, feeling so desperate, so desolate, so incredibly sad and hurt that you honestly cannot see a way out. The feelings leading to suicide are the darkest a human mind can fathom. It’s like being shut into a dark tunnel with no point of light to guide your way. You can hear voices on the outside, but the walls are too thick to get in. And feeling like it’s closing in, like there’s no way out – well, suicide, for that person, is a blessed release. Life, however, is never wasted. Williams did things in his life that touched people to their core. It is a sad, sad loss, but it is not a waste.

Suicide is not a weak decision. It is a decision that takes an incredible amount of strength to make, actually. Someone isn’t weak if they end their life. They are desperate. There is a difference. It’s okay to feel angry at the person for dying. It’s okay to question, to rail against the forces that caused this. But it isn’t weakness. Mental illness isn’t weakness. It’s a disease, a pervasive, sometimes awful disease. The person doesn’t deserve anger and skepticism forever. They deserve compassion. Their family deserves compassion.

Ending a life is incredibly, incredibly tragic. It represents a lost battle with mental illness. In that, it is no different than cancer, or diabetes, or a heart attack. Where it is different is that suicide is a choice. Whether it is the right or wrong choice for that person is solely the business of that person who commits suicide. But for the family left behind, it is devastating.

Don’t rail against Robin Williams, or anyone else, for committing suicide (if indeed, that is the cause of his death). Instead, reach out. Let people know you’re there for them. Find a crisis line in your area to call if you are feeling desperate and like you want to do something you can’t take back. Support the family and friends left behind in the best way you can. Let the people you love know that you love them and that you are thinking about them. Let them know that they are not alone.

Robin Williams taught me innumerable things about how to reach out to people and bring out the best in them. Through his characters, he taught me to seize the day, to make them laugh, to find everyone’s sense of humour, to be a friend. I will miss his work and his bright light in the world. I am so sorry that he felt like there was no other option. I send my love and my compassion to his family.

Oh captain, my captain, I hope you find peace on the other side.

To everyone who may be reading this, if you need to talk at all – I am available to listen, whoever you are. You are not alone.

RIP, Robin Williams.

Robin Williams as John Keating (The Dead Poets' Society), Touchstone Pictures
Robin Williams as John Keating (The Dead Poets’ Society), Touchstone Pictures

82 thoughts on “What Suicide Isn’t (RIP, Robin Williams)

  1. This is excellent
    And true. And compassionate, and I wish everyone who read this would please repost it! Depression can touch any human soul. It is no respector of persons. We need to be aware of all those around us. We ARE our brother’s keeper!!!

  2. I posted this on all my social media links. I work in suicide prevention, we produced a film about it called SHATTERED SILENCE( Your article is EXCELLENT and I am encouraging people to repost it, which they are!!!!! Thankyou, for taking the time and the love, to stop and write it. Together we can become a strong voice!!!!

  3. I lost my Best Friend Candy to suicide via post natal depression , at the time I just wanted to be with Her ! but my Babies kept me here . the only really bad and selfish suicides are the ones that murder their Families and then take the way out via suicide .
    this is entirely different ! these poor souls are so very tortured by their own Body & Brain . be at Peace now Robin it’s time for a nice rest ♥

    1. I lost my best friend to suicide too and like you I just wanted to be with him. I thought it was just me that felt that way but in some strange way I am pleased its not just me. I still feel that way sometimes; the times when I miss him more than normal but I will carry on. x

  4. Wow, this is a fantastic post, thanks so much. My father took his own life, and I’ve been very close to suicide myself also, struggling with bipolar disorder. I can’t express how much I agree with your post.

    1. Know that there is medication and therapy that can help you… Left to your own devices your suffering will increase you will self-medicate and then probably die… The worst part of depression is “knowing’ it will never end.

    2. I am very sorry about your loss of your father and I do not want to see such a thing happen to you if you ever need anyone to talk to someone i am here for you

  5. Robin Williams said he drank because of fear — and in The Fisher King when he shows his naked fear it is one of the most memorable moments on film (to rival Al Pacino’s fear in The Godfather before killing Sollozzo and McCluskey). Most actors can’t do vulnerability — they fake it. Not Robin Williams. Only when we reveal our vulnerability do we truly connect with other people. I think that’s why he was so loved.

  6. Absolutely true. We expect that mental illness should be something people could just ‘snap out of’ or just a pill and get better. But like any illness, sometimes, people fight it for years, and sometimes, they don’t get better.

    I’m so sad about his death. Not because it’s a waste or because it’s selfish, but because I’ll miss him, and so will so many others.

  7. As a member of a family with a suicide survivor, I cannot stress this enough. It is the least selfish act of all. At the point where taking one’s own life, there is no thought of the surviving friends and family; rather, it’s the point where you are at the darkest point in your life with no recourse. The world is woefully ignorant of the true horrors of mental illness. Ironic when you think of the fact that 1 out of 4 people struggle with this debilitating issue. And shame on the insurance industry; it’s far easier to fix a broken leg than a broken mind. We have so far to go, sadly.

  8. Yes, suicide is a terrible, irreversible choice. This was a tragic choice that, not being present in Robin William’s company or brain (Was this a last minute choice, did he plan it, did he leave a note? did he think of his family? did he consider the en tire media frenzy?), there are several forks in the road to consider. He had access to more resources than most- yes, it’s a disease, and yes, my own father lost his disease with alcoholism. If access to resources due to his wealth against those who cannot afford to get treatment, what hope do we have? Why do those with much less success, talent, and everything else keep living? But are they really living? No. Existing, day after day after day. I have depression and anxiety- my mood swings bother me. I’ve been on all kinds of antidepressants, but you know-they are a temporary ‘fix,’ and I’ve long since cut them out of my life to address the emotional issues, however flawed and successful they are. That’s not to say I would ever speak against long term medical care for mental illness. His choice was tragic and selfish- just like the suicides of the every day Joe’s that no one cares about.

    1. I disagree with the comment about it being selfish. It doesn’t matter how much money or how many resources you have at your disposal. The article states it well “The feelings leading to suicide are the darkest a human mind can fathom. It’s like being shut into a dark tunnel with no point of light to guide your way. You can hear voices on the outside, but the walls are too thick to get in. And feeling like it’s closing in, like there’s no way out – well, suicide, for that person, is a blessed release.” I understand what the article talks about. I have contemplated suicide, many times & at odd times. So far I am been able to break through the walls long enough to see that is something I really don’t want to do. I struggle with physical pain every single moment of every single day. I’ve had surgery that was supposed to relieve that pain but made it worse. Pain meds can help, but sometimes don’t help much. Plus I hate taking them. There are days it is so bad, I get overwhelmed trying to do just simple tasks, that it’s like why do I keep going thru this? Yes, I contemplate my family in these thoughts. My family has to help me, but with so much going on in their lives I feel like a burden. It’s at those times when I think they would be better off without me. At that point I’m not being selfish, I’m thinking it would make their life easier. When I’m in pain, I’m thinking the pain will end. So we don’t know what was going on with Robin, and to say he was selfish, to me is wrong. If someone hasn’t walked in the persons shoes, then they have no idea what lead that person to do what they did. There is such a wide range of depression & it is a struggle each and every day. Some win that battle & unfortunately some don’t……just like with cancer, etc.

    2. I disagree. Not selfish at all. Look at what taking his life has brought about. People are talking about mental illness and depression in ways that I have never seen them talk about it. Maybe Williams knew that if he took his life that his action coupled with his fame would help all those others with mental illness. People would start talking and start taking action. It only takes one person with one crazy idea to start a revolution. I have lost many friends and some family to depression, it is not easy but I understand why they did what they did. If you have never been in that dark place where there is no hope, then you cannot understand. You statement lacks critical thinking, you are the reason I get depressed some days. You put no extreme deep thought into your words. I have been in the darkness; I am one of the lucky ones who fought my way out of it and won. I still get down some days but I fight back, I fight back against the darkness and people like you.

    3. I think everyone asks themselves at some point “How would people react if I died today?”, and I’ve thought that, too. But I’ve never considered myself suicidal. However, I have suffered from depression. I remember the dark clouds surrounding my world. I remember being in that state for so long (many years) that I eventually was able to consider how the people on the “outside” of my world were living happy, normal lives, and then coming to the realization that I, too, could choose that life. I could choose to change how I “see” my world. To see the light. To see the love. To see the opportunities that lay waiting for me. But it’s not that easy. As much as those of us on the outside want to “shake sense” into a person to see their world differently, the only person that can do it is them. And if the darkness becomes too dark, too strong, too overwhelming, well, I think we’ve all been witness to one outcome.

      RIP Mr. Robin Williams. Thank you for the gifts you gave to this world. You are one of a kind. I believe that you gave so much of yourself that you ran out of fuel. Even the collective love from all of us was still not enough to save you. But we will always love you anyway.

    4. Selfish is not caring for those every day Joe’s. We can’t always save, understand, detect or reach those in such a place of desperation. But we should always care. In addition, having access to more does not necessarily mean the “more” is going to be of help. For many the more is that of expectation and thus an immensely deeper burden to be weak. If it were a common sense matter to make the right choice we would not have the statistics we do of this lost hope against oneself.

  9. Thank you. I have bipolar disorder and I run a page on facebook dedicated to mental illness. One thing I do when someone in the media passes is post about others who have passed that members of our page have listed for us. This is one thing I hadn’t seen yet today, and was so hoping for: someone putting this in terms that the general public SHOULD, and does not, understand. Thank you for bringing this around to be about strength and come away from the general consensus of weakness.

    At least one of the previous comments alludes to suicide being selfish, I just want to say that on my last attempt, all I wanted was to make the lives of my family easier. I thought this was the only way I could. Every situation is different. Don’t judge what you don’t know, people. Listen to opinions that are not your own.

    1. This post is wonderful. I wrote a poem to honor a great man.

      The Bird does not sing anymore,
      I do not hear his song,
      He no longer heals people with his laughter
      The silence is deathening

  10. Everything you said here is exactly right! Families that have been thru this need support and compassion and everyone should reach out to others and help them…thank you for everything you said here!

  11. Sometimes it takes a celebrity’s death to get the public’s attention and to change people’s minds. Hopefully, Robin Williams’ apparent suicide will lead to a better understanding of major depression and other mental illnesses. Major depression is not simply feeling “low.” It’s a lack of feeling and lack of interest, combined with insecurity and self-doubt. It’s the inability to feel pleasure. It’s like being at the bottom of a deep, dark well for weeks or months and believing there’s no way out. The anguish, anxiety and dread are debilitating. Even the smallest tasks take enormous effort. Appetites change, bodies ache, numerous physical effects appear as the physical responds to the mental and becomes “depressed” in its own way.

    Sometimes it seems the only way to escape the pain of depression is to die.

    Not enough is known about mental illness. More needs to be done. One thing is for sure: mental illness is not a character flaw or a choice that a person can just “snap out of.”
    Robin Williams now is at peace. But, the pain of his major depression remains with his family, loved ones and friends – and with the public who loved his work. Thank you, Robin, for bringing so many people joy. Now is your time to rest. Blessings, love and light.

  12. Thank you! I have a brother who came close last year and still struggles everyday. I have always believed that God welcomes them with open arms! They suffer no more and have a peaceful life on the other side! I believe Robin is making God and angels laugh right now, he is truly an amazing person who touched many lives! Especially mine.

  13. Reblogged this on Homemaker Nette and commented:
    There are two sides to the story and on the side of depression is a horrible lie that ones with depression must battle against every day. Please don’t dishonor the name of ones who lost the battle, instead pray that they find peace and mercy.

  14. I also suffer from bipolar and depression. I am on meds and have wondered if its worth living at times..but I have a great support system within my family. I dont know if I could ever go through with suicide. Thank you so much for writing this. I will be sharing it on fb. Its sad that this happened to him, but at the same time now maybe ppl will see mental illness different.

  15. Thank you for this article. I have suffered from depression in the past and have had the feelings you have described. its a scary feeling, and for some they can’t find their way back, like Robin Williams, and others. So very sad over this loss. But can’t help but think of his family and pray that they will one day find peace in their hearts. As with everything in life, there is a silver lining and hopefully out of this the silver lining will be a better understanding of mental illness. Again, thank you for this article, beautifully written.

  16. A wonderful post. You speak as if you are one of the possessors of depression/bipolar. If not your insight and thoughts are something few know and understand. Many of you here are show your kindness. Many of us with this illness have been at the edge more than once, some make/have made attempts to leave life prior to the actual moment. Depression” is the reason for suicide; not finances, relationships, people, places, events, or anything else. However, when the episode of depression begins it starts feeding off the burdens we carry, all that seems wrong in our life and any guilt we harbor from early life to the present. For those that think the person is being selfish and thoughtless of others couldn’t be more mistaken. Are those people being selfish? They are saying the depressed should continue in such great pain and struggles never to be won.That person has fought and struggled endlessly to keep from leaving in this way, because of those they love. Freedom, rest and peace from the agony being endured. Some have have one episode, others have many. Never knowing when or how long they will last. For some of us the time comes when we have had enough of coping,
    just don’t want to deal with it, tired of the struggle and just want relief. As for those that we leave behind we understand the sadness, the hurt and pain they will suffer as well as we know life goes on, time will heal emotions and broken hearts, and scars can be lived with. The wonderful part if you believe in life after death, is knowing loved ones will be reunited
    Depression is deep, complicated and misunderstood by many. For most when in an episode the only thing another can do to help is let them know, if needed you are available. It is a storm we have to weather alone. Mania can be as bad but most of us would prefer it to the darkness and pain of depression. If we had a choice it would be neither!
    The best thing for those that do not understand should research to gain knowledge and understanding.
    I have been on medication (have been on many) and been in and continue with. What has helped me to get through an episode is my therapist reminding me and suggested I say is “This to shall pass). Through the tears and darkness I say that many times and say “no” over and over every time a negative thought starts to come forth in my mind. I have to or the depression will feed on them and lead me to the edge.

  17. The death of Robin Williams strikes a painful chord with me. I lost my daughter to suicide 13 months, and two weeks ago. She chose asphyxiation. A person I recently became friends works in social work and participated in the Out of Darkness walk in Philadelphia on June 29, 2014. That day was the anniversary of me losing my daughter. I could not participate in the walk because I had other personal issues going on. The months leading up to “that day” were hard for the entire family. I am actually my daughter’s step mom (second mom as I like to call myself). It seemed like there was not enough time in the day to give her the help that she needed. Meaning, the facilities were using their textbook processes for treating her condition. Automatically, they put her on meds, black box label meds and I think that all of the thoughts that were going through her mind and the adjustment to the meds probably didn’t help her at all. Point being…there needs to be more awareness and the availability of help to all of the people that think this is the only way out. Still to this day I am asking myself why, what did I do, what could I have done differently. I’m going to live with the pain that my daughter is no longer here for me to see her grow. To see her become the great person that I know she was destined to be. I miss her every single minute of my life. I only knew her for the last 10 years. She was 14 when she made her decision. We shared the exact same birthday and I will always remember the time that I had with her, but only wish I had the rest of my natural time here on earth to be with her and capture more memories of her. I’m asking everyone to make the Out of Darkness walk something that they wish to participate in. Whether it be a donation or anything. That is what I did this past year. I wasn’t able to participate, but the money that I received from people in sympathy cards I tucked away for something. I found that something when that person said she would walk in honor of my daughter and in honor of her client that she lost through suicide. Awareness is the only way that we can help people. My daughter, Abrielle, had a wonderful support system….but that one moment I thought she was happy and wanted to go for a bike ride and read her books was the moment I wasn’t aware. I know she watches over me and I want to be able to help anyone that is suffering from mental illness to just reach out and ask for help and not be afraid to talk. I know personally what a family goes through after a loved one makes that choice and its a horrible feeling. A feeling that will never go away for me. My favorite quote from an anonymous person “just when the caterpillar thought life was over, it became a butterfly”

  18. The only way that Robin Williams’ death could be considered wasteful, is if we fail to act.

    May the passing of Robin Williams bring the world together to fight mental illness, as did the deaths of Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury against AIDS.

  19. This is such a powerful and beautiful post. I lost my 19 year old nephew a few months ago to suicide. Our family is at times lost and at times closer. My nephew was a tortured soul – he was kind hearted, funny, smart – was on ski patrol and a first responder. His brain – another story. Unfortunately he felt there was no other way. My heart goes out to the Williams family. I wish there was a way to reach out and hug them. The US and society needs to see mental illness as a true illness – just like cancer or heart disease. It is out to kill you one way or another. We need to make changes. We need to provide more awareness. Not every suicide can be prevented. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could each help save a life?

  20. While shocked and saddened by such a great loss of a true genuis, I do understand and feel nothing but compassion for the sadness and suffering Mr. Williams felt, which ultimately brought him to the choice he made. I applaude you Ms. Eluzabeth for writing such an eloquentt tribute and such a clear understanding of depression. So many unfortunately do not understand that it is a severe and dabilitating illness/disease. Some can survive it while others do not.

    Blessings to his family, friends and the millions he made laugh who are now mourning his passing. Rest peacefully in God’s loving arms Mr. Robin Williams.

  21. You are truly a bright shining light that truly understands and “gets it” you are awakened to more then the illusions of this life before us…Your beautiful words and wisdom with love , compassion and truth shared shines brightly through. Much appreciation with love and light to your beautiful open heart and mind 🙂 Forever shine on with your words of wisdom and know that Mr Williams is smiling down upon you with gratitude and love for being the voice for so many that are not able to use there own voices to speak out or up. Namaste beautiful soul and I am so glad I crossed paths with your beautiful article ♥ ♥ ♥ Claire

  22. As someone who has suffered from debilitating depression and anxiety from about the age of ten (that’s more than 40 years), I can tell you that suicide is neither a choice nor “selfish”. It is a desperate act of self-preservation (as ironic as the term is). It is knowing you cannot live another minute with the pain, terror, futility of your own life. In my case, I describe depression like trying to dig my way out of a sand dune with a fork.

    And, like most chronically depressed people, I have had to listen to the sanctimonious crap that people who have never in their life experienced true depression offer up… “Smile! You’ll feel better!” (If “smiling” made me “feel better”, I’d have stapled my cheeks to my forehead to keep a smile on my face, years ago) and “studies have shown that smiling makes depression go away” (studies, in fact, show that smiling has no effect on depression), “you just need to get out and do things!”, and the ever-popular “just pull yourself together and stop moaning!” And, of course, the “depression is just a disease made up by doctors and ‘Big Pharma’ to sell drugs”. And every time there is a discussion about suicide, these old saws come out and are thrown at those of us who have actually suffered from real, chronic, and profound depression and anxiety and have contemplated or attempted suicide.

    In my particular case, it wasn’t until 2000, after my 3rd suicide attempt, the most serious one, that FINALLY, I received medication to deal with both the depression and anxiety. It was also when I learned how to see the warning signs of trouble ahead. I learned not to be afraid to admit when things were getting bad; had support from family and friends, and, vitally, from my employer; and recognized that the only person who could save me was myself.

    I still experience dark days. I have had some deeply difficult times. But I have weathered it and that gives me strength.

    Thanks for this post!

  23. I have immense compassion and sympathy for Robin, his family, fans and loved ones just as I do for myself and all who have had to deal with suicide in some degree….but if suicide is not selfish, what is? I understand the mental illness argument but question why it cannot be used for pedophilia, rape or murder…..all of those acts require a mental illness of sorts as well and those who commit those acts are, IMO, in a ‘dark place’ undoubtedly. The FACT is we would be pissed off and overcome with anger at another adult that had killed Robin Williams regardless of their degree of affliction of some mental illness while we would be upset, compassionate and sympathetic to Robin Williams and his fans and family just as we are now. It just so happens that in the case of suicide, the perpetrator of the execution and the immediate victim, is the same person!

    1. You have zero “compassion” if you fail to understand that suicide is not a “selfish” act. If you have never suffered (as I and millions of others have) with crippling and debilitating depression and anxiety that makes every moment of a day a living Hell, you have no understanding or right to make the pronouncement on why a person reaches the decision to end their life. Don’t presume to claim you have “compassion”.

      And to even mention pedophilia in the same comment? Disgusting.

  24. As many have said… may this be the outlet to talk about the many problems with out Mental Healthcare system. I’ve posted on my FB my general thoughts having been there, done that. I feel horrible for his family, but may they rise up and speak out and this sad story may turn out to be the spring board to REAL healing for ALL people who suffer in silence from the stigma STILL placed on depression and other mental illnesses. What I suppose here is that Robin felt a sort of “possession” of his soul and when you feel that (not just the normal depression-which I am not discounting in any form here), no pills, alcohol or Dr. (or even God) can fix it sometimes. Self esteem needs to be generated from BIRTH and should be a major focus in our school systems IMO after what I’ve been through. On my FB page, I noted there something not noted in this article – the feeling of being a burden to your family… especially when MD drags one past a point that you think YOU should be able to overcome it. It’s no different than any other disease where you not only go through it, but bring your loved ones along for the ride and you hate yourself for that… sometimes leading you to make this decision. RIP Robin and peace to your family in this time of great sadness.

  25. I like to think that everything happens for a reason even though the reason may not always be known to everyone or anyone, ever. But perhaps, Robin seemingly so full of life, having such ability to make others laugh and so well loved choosing to take his own life will be the catalyst to bring positive changes for people suffering from diseases and those who love them too!

  26. You made me look at suicide as a desperate act of a strong person, not the cowardly act that I thought it was. I”m telling everyone I”m here to talk to if they need it as I”m a huge fan of talk therapy. It worked for me but then I worked at it too.

  27. I was so inspired by your story that I felt I needed to not only share this on social media, but comment on it as well. I have been a long-time sufferer of bipolar disorder and chronic depression. While I have found the ultimate healing in my belief and faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ and the power that God has to heal, I know that there are millions of people out there that are suffering through the same things that I have gone through in my life. Sharing these types of experiences with others has helped me and, I have been told, helped others to get through the very tough times. If I could say one thing to those who are suffering, it would be “YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this world! There are others, like myself, who have been in the darkest of life’s crevices, feeling completely and utterly spent and helpless! There ARE others who understand and can help with your pain!”

    To the others, like me, who have been down these roads and had such experiences, I say…..
    DO NOT be ashamed of your experiences and the things that you have gone through… fact, share them with others to help strengthen both you and the person in desperation! You will be better for it in the long run!

    Thank you so much for such an eloquent article and such life-impacting words!

  28. It is very kind of you to reach to people considering suicide. Many people do not try to help people considering suicide. One Person laugh at me about my mental illness.

  29. Thank you for the wonderful article on depression. I have suffered from severe depression but, luckily, not severe enough to think about ending my life. I have meds to take, I’ve been in therapy on and off for most of my life, but some level of the depression is always hanging around. R.I.P. Robin Williams!

  30. A beautiful article. Compassion is truly needed for anyone with mental illness. Sometimes the cause is very short term, as it was for me when my son died at age 16, suddenly. I was lucky to pull out of the depression with some therapy, but when it was at its worse I knew that it would devastate my remaining family if I killed myself, but it just didn’t matter. When the darkness is dark enough, nothing beyond the pain and anguish matters. Can’t say if that was Robin WIlliam’s experience of it, but I know it to be true. I dream of a time when quality mental health care is as easy to get and common as a massage or dental visit or vitamins. In the meantime, compassion for all.

  31. Thank you so much for this article, I have been in that dark place twice in my life and try really hard not to get there again. I know about the pain the pain you feel you can no longer stand. God has helped and the meds seem to have really kicked in, but I still
    have my moments and when I feel those moments I will read this again. That kind of darkness is hard to lighten without some help.

  32. I’m 36, I live in Canada and Robin Williams has always been my favourite actor. He visited me today, I’m not asking you to believe me and I’m not offering any more explanation than that. I was honoured and tried to convince him of his greatness in vain. He is hurting still because of the pain his family is in and I gave him this advice:

    You can’t change what has happened. It’s time to let go and heal yourself and love them. That’s the best thing you can do for them. Love them. And try to find some love for yourself because there is beauty in you….the whole world isn’t wrong, you just haven’t found it yet.

  33. 70 movies, extensive TV work, but those who say people should stick around, aren’t thinking, to please others, you ought to endure a living hell, that’s selfish on their part, they might suffer from their loss, yet it isn’t the same level of suffering, that drives a person to commit suicide.

  34. I am so sadden by this. I have lost my precious daughter who was only 23 with 3 children and a husband and a family who loved her so much. I have also lost a sister in law who also had 2 children and a husband and a family who loved her so much. I was very sad and angry. I thought it was a very selfish act to leave us all behind to deal with this. But dang! This has really opened my eyes. I really worked hard on keeping my little girl alive for many years. With all the resources he had. I have always wondered how they could do it. It is not selfish. They are all just so sad. I hope this finally raises awareness to this awful suffering that our family and friends go thru. My heart breaks for his wife, daughter and the rest of the world that grieves. My heart breaks for my daughter my sister in law. My husband and his extended family. Me and my extended family but I put no blame here. It is and Illness. I say they died by Suicide. They did not commit it. They were destined for this. My husband and I will keep trying to help the ones left behind. I think of my daughter every day and it has been 10 yrs and I will continue to think of her for the rest of my life. And I will support my grandkids They have adjusted but not totally. The just think of what she missed out on. It is not a choice. If it was a choice at that moment my daughter and my sister in law would still be here. It was the only way. They were just tired of dealing with the illness.

  35. I am soooo sorry about the death of Mr. Williams.  As a person who has gone through depression and has had suicidal thoughts I can relate.  Thank God  for my belief in God and my faith.  There by the grace of God go I.  He has kept me.  I want to extend my very deep sympathies to the Williams family.  The world has lost an incredible artist and human being.  He gave this world a very rich gift.  The gift of laughter.  He is soooooooo mssed.  And will be missed for many many years.  He gave himself to the world doing what he did best.  Making people laugh think and reflect.  I am glad that depression is now known as a disease that it is and not merely something that if you put your mind to it you can beat.  I pray that God have a special place reserved for Mr. Robin because of then ways he made this world a better place with his gifts and talents .  May prayers are with the family and all those who knew him.  With love and sympathy                                        

  36. You have put into words all of my thoughts and feelings in a clear and touching way. I choked back tears while reading this – as it touches me deeply and personally. Thank you for bringing clarity to a subject that many have difficult understanding or even talking about. ~ Trish

  37. Elizabeth:

    Thank you for speaking up. One thing that I have learned through experience is that problems you discuss, you own; problems you cannot discuss, own you.

    Robin Williams is certainly missed. The sad thing is that he may not–in his heart of hearts–have believed that he would be missed.

    Suicide has reached epidemic proportions among two very unlikely groups: young people and old people. Among young people it is often associated with the breakup of an important relationship; among old people, it is often associated with unemployment. Both issues share something in common even if there are many unique and differing related issues.

    The young person who contemplates suicide following a breakup has invested too much in the relationship; the old person who contemplates suicide following unemployment has invested too much in their work. In neither case is the problem psychiatric–there is nothing wrong with the person. No blame is needed or appropriate. However, a change in priorities is needed.

    The number one priority in our lives belongs to only one person. We all know intuitively who that person is. If we substitute anything else into the number one priority in our lives, bad things happen. I call it an existential crisis. When the number one thing in our lives lets us down, all our priorities are misplaced and life looses meaning. Only one person will not let us down–we all know intuitively who that person is.

    You might enjoy reading my post: Why is spirituality important? ( It is actually a chapter from my book (


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