The moment I heard of his death I was shocked. I was thinking it was a hoax. But by that time it had already been confirmed that Robin McLaurin Williams had passed away.
Throughout my life I have experienced the passing of many of my beloved celebrities and I was saddened – but mainly because I was selfish and wished to see more of their work. This time it’s just a little bit different. Robin Williams’ work has been a major part of my family, in such a way that it felt like he was part of the family.
I used to watch Mrs. Doubtfire with my ailing grandmother until the VHS tape snapped. He brought us both joy and hope when otherwise I would not have found any. I did not know him and I only had the opportunity to see his public face. I’ve witnessed the world’s reaction to this loss and I see that I am not alone in this type of grief.
But I think there is more to this than just his death and our grief. Not to mention the grief of his family. I believe his career will always remain relevant and what he means to our generation. I know whenever I need a laugh he’s just a play button away. He came to us as an alien from Ork. He showed us what we looked like from the perspective of an innocent. He allowed us to laugh at our own culture, our own failings, and with each other. He could make even a serious topic laughable. But there was wisdom in his humor.
While pointing out our failings and inequities, he also displayed our greatest strengths to his supervisor Orson, the alien Mork showed us that from a different perspective we are all the same. Hate, greed, apathy, and avarice in our society were futile in the face of humor. He saw us all as equals and I’d like to think Mr. Williams saw it that way too. He had a message of laughter that could reach the ears of many.
His death brought us another message: that we should take mental health issues a bit more seriously. Denial of the effects of depression has cost many of us loved ones and it needs to be addressed. Be mindful of your loved ones and watch over those that may be hurting. And if you are hurting, ask for help for you are not alone.
Signing off, Nanu Nanu.