Robin Williams passed away this week. It's a tragic loss and is such a shock, that it truly has taken me days to deal with my feelings and emotions concerning his passing. I am not alone, and I am not special in my mourning. Robin Williams, I am sure, means more to so many others that he does to me. His family, his friends, his peers, and his many, many adoring fans are all grieving in their own way, at their own level of loss. I see posts on social media sites showing personal tributes and depictions of scenes from his more famous movies. I witness the media sensationalize his death and its circumstances. He took his life, it is tragic and hopefully now we all realize that even the happiest seeming person can have an overwhelming sadness inside.
We all have a Robin Williams story and a reason why we mourn him. He was that comedic powerhouse of quick wit, brilliant impersonations and he possessed a natural aptitude for finding the funny in everything. My story is most likely, no different than many stories out there. I also don't pretend to think for a moment that it's any more special. But I need to release it, to let it be known, to let it go.
When I was a child, my dad and I would watch Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, and then Mork & Mindy reruns every Sunday morning. Mork was always my favorite because of the fact he seemed childlike, innocent, and in total wonderment of the world around him. We were fortunate to have HBO and in the late 80's, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg started an awesome comedy special called "Comic Relief". My dad loves stand up and he would let me watch most all of the comics with him. His laugh would fill the room, and if things were really funny.. he would give his loud "laugh clap". Robin Williams was one of his favorites. Therefore, becoming one of mine. I equate Robin Williams to my father's laughter.
Many of you know that my dad is fighting Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma. He has tumors in his lungs, brain, colon, and abdomen. While he is in treatment, it is just that, a treatment. Not a cure. I have had to wrestle with the reality of my fathers mortality as of late and hearing of Robins Williams death hit me particularly hard. Harder than it may have, if circumstances were different. His passing created a reality for me that I wasn't quite ready to accept.
I realized that one day, I will no longer get to hear my dad laugh. My dad has a great laugh. And now someone that made my dad and I laugh together for decades, is gone. No longer able to continue to make my dad "laugh clap" at a time he needs laughter the most.
I am heartbroken, but so are we all. All of us differently, but also in the same way. We lost a person who created happiness and joy in a world that can be filled with sadness and pain. We needed Robin Williams. He brought joy to us in everything he did. Now that he has gone, life just feels a little less...funny.