“I’ve seen things you’ve only seen in your nightmares. Things you can’t even imagine. Things you can’t even see. There are things that hunt you in the night. Then something screams. Then you hear them eating, and you hope to God you aren’t dessert. Afraid? You don’t know what afraid is.”
And apparently a lot of us didn’t know how afraid Robin Williams truly was. This is a quote from one of my favourite movies growing up, Robin playing Alan Parrish in Jumanji – and it seems so piercing now.
Celebrity deaths are hard because these people aren’t people we know personally, but we feel like we know them. We bring them into our homes, allow them to entertain us for minutes, for hours, for a lifetime. We cultivate an attachment to their interpretations and their characters, to their ideas and to their genius. Robin Williams was a real genius in his art. He had the ability to create laughter and dreamlike scenarios for decades. And all we can do is speculate as to why it had to end, and that’s what hurts the most. No answers.
So we are forced to look at the bigger picture, and I truly hope we all do. Time only progresses and hindsight is always 20/20. Life is so cruel in that regard. But it’s reality. We have to take what we do know for sure, and build lessons from that. This is what I do know as fact:
Mental illness is a horrific disease. It really hits home because it has really affected my family. Like toxic vapour, it’s invisible, and has potential to be deadly. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Unlike a broken arm, unlike a scraped knee, it lurks between your ears, behind your eyes, within your brain, in your thoughts. And the mind is so strong that sometimes when you are alone with your thoughts, darkness and hopelessness prevail. And prove to be victorious.
Be kind to one another. Text a friend. Tell them you love them. Call your family. Have someone over for tea. Go out for lunch with someone you’re worried about. Go out for lunch with someone you aren’t worried about. Hug more often. Make someone laugh. Cry it out. Any of these things can make the invisible demon vanish, if even for a little while. Maybe it will make your own invisible demons disappear.
My deepest sympathies go out to people across the world who loved this comedic genius, and to his family – I can’t even imagine their struggle. What if ..
Try your hardest not to let it get to what if – let foresight be 20/20. Sometimes the ones who seem like they have it all, like they have it completely together – they really don’t. End the stigma – it’s so important that we do.