Because One Wasn’t Enough: A Second, Pathos-Filled, Robin Williams Post

Alright, the first post wasn’t enough.

The suicide of Robin Williams has deeply affected me. I’m sad. I’m really sad. I feel, genuinely, like a member of my family has died. Perhaps a beloved uncle or aunt, someone I thought of often, talked to often, cared about deeply. Tears come and go at irregular intervals.

I said in the last post, Robin Williams was of my father’s generation. One year younger. My father died in December 2002. He had a massive heart attack during a routine surgery; it was unexpected. He had just weathered a severe health crisis, and his surgery was just the cleanup. No problems were anticipated. But he had a heart attack on the table, they spent 45 minutes getting him back, and when they did he was hopelessly brain damaged, and we pulled the plug.

i pulled the plug. His wife of less than a year asked me what to do, to be sure she was doing the right thing. And I said “pull the plug. Let him go.” Goddamn, that decision haunts me. Because how could it not? You can never be sure. We pulled the plug and I held his hand while he died. I held his hand. He died. I watched him stop breathing and he died with his hand in mine and I swear there was a tear in his eye when I told him that we had to let him go and I don’t know if he understood, if he heard, or not. But I feel like he did and he didn’t want to go — because who does? I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die if I’m a hundred years old, goddammit, I don’t want to go. But I feel Robin’s decision too much. I know what it is to feel that it’s all too much. I almost drank myself to death at 25 and I knew what I was doing. I didn’t want to die and I tried to die. I held a knife to my wrist at 16 questioning and I decided to stay. I tasted the business end of a .357 pistol, drunk, in my 30s and again I decided to stay. I still own that pistol and I look at it: what the hell is wrong with you? I don’t know if I mean the gun or myself. I don’t understand why he killed himself. I understand why he killed himself.

Is it ever otherwise? I don’t know.

Robin Williams made a choice to die. He threw a belt over a door and hung himself. And he died. Too goddamn young, Why do we die at such a young age? I’m convinced that we humans are just beginning to figure things out somewhere between the ages of 50 and 100.  We die when we’re starting to get it. If we had another hundred years we’d really be cooking. There’s more than we know. We never know. We die too young.

I find myself crying at Robin Williams’ passing because he feels like someone I knew, though I never met him. He gave a damn, I think. Too few people do. He had a way of saying things directly, in a way that highlighted why they mattered. You know, without the bullshit.


3 thoughts on “Because One Wasn’t Enough: A Second, Pathos-Filled, Robin Williams Post

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  1. His death has deeply affected me, too. But for different reasons. He was my favourite actor, the one person I wanted to be able to talk to, to experience his infectious zest for entertaining people, his kindness. He was a very kind person, from everything I’ve heard. He was selfless. He would take time out of his busy schedule to go up to a hospital an hour away just to give a little kid his autograph, then spend half the day entertaining the kids and staff, then telling them all to keep it a secret. He was never there. The media didn’t know about it, but one nurse who was there recently posted the story on Facebook. He kept it quiet because he was only doing this out of the goodness of his heart, not for publicity. His humanitarianism, his intelligence, his compassion, they’ve all inspired me personally.

    My mother had depression after my parents got divorced. It was a rather nasty situation. She confided in me that she nearly committed suicide, but I don’t think her depression was as severe as Robin Williams’. She told the therapist that she had been thinking about it, but was too scared to do it. I don’t think Robin Williams was in his right mind when he did it. His depression was so bad, he couldn’t think rationally. I wish he could have been able to stop himself.

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