I adored Robin Williams. He was kind, hilarious, lightning quick and unique. We will miss his genius talent, both sides of it, serious and comedic.
When I was in college I had my first personal contact with someone who took their own life. Science was one of the requirements for my degree and back then I was not interested in most of it. So after much thought, I took the course that seemed to be the least difficult and the most interesting to me, Geology. Turns out, I found it really interesting and I loved the young professor. I learned so much that semester! In Idaho, where I was at the time, the rock formations are very visible so he would take us out on field trips to explore how the earth was formed. For the first time, I loved science.
The next summer, I found out he went out into those rock canyons and took his own life. I was stunned. I couldn’t understand what would make such a talented and wonderful guy do that. And I was so sad he felt he had to leave like that.
That was also when I heard a phrase I’ve never forgotten, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” Nothing stays the same, things always change. That’s what I remember when life starts to feel overwhelmingly stressful.
And here it is again. It’s not personal but he was a part of my entire adult life as far as entertainment goes. Being older and wiser, I get why depression might drive someone there but it’s still a shock, and “I wish he had been open to help, I wish someone had been able to get through to him, he left far too soon” runs through my mind. Ultimately, it was his choice to leave. Still, Robin’s departure leaves a hole no one else can fill.
His healing has already begun. At the same time, I have no doubt that Robin’s choice to exit the physical will help others still here who are currently struggling with depression, either within themselves or loved ones. Perhaps he is a catalyst for more change and awareness.
We love you, Robin. You are loved. You are love. I wish you could have known that while you were here.
By Courtney Walsh:
WHEN I DECIDED TO DIE, I LEARNED HOW TO REALLY LIVE: My own suicide attempt was both my deepest painful moment and hugest epiphany turning point. After that, I made the conscious decision to stay on the planet. Somewhere. At some point. I don’t remember when or how. If it was all at once or more gradual. Maybe both. That part doesn’t matter. Because the more important decision I made was to live life 100% on my own terms. In a way that made me truly happy. In a way that made me feel genuinely free.
I lost a lot of relationships and jobs and old ideas in this decision-making process. Because it’s the most radical and evolved thing a human can do. Make this crazy decision to put their own wellbeing before the desires or needs of others. Everything, and I mean everything, we’ve ever been taught tells us this is wrong. We’ve been brainwashed to be martyrs rather than to be selfish. At all costs. But that’s a hideous lie. Because when you love yourself wholly, you actually help the world far more than when you tapdance or perform for love or approval from people who can never really see or hear you. It’s not their fault. You didn’t let them. You swallowed your voice. You cut yourself off from your own needs. You played roles. You made yourself unimportant.
So now it’s time to remember what’s true and real. The sacred you that owes nobody anything. The infinite you that must be willing to disappoint or even enrage people if it means being true to yourself. And they will be enraged and disappointed. Because you’ve stopped bending or shrinking for their comfort. It’s ok. They’ll survive. That’s their own battle with their own demons to fight. You just keep thriving, anyway.~Courtney A. Walsh