Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Tortured Soul

I was in a dressing room when I read the news on my phone about Robin Williams.  I burst into tears.  So sad.  I figured he had a heart attack at the age of 63 from so much drug abuse, so when I got home and read all the reports that he actually committed suicide, my sadness went deeper.  It's no surprise that Robin Williams fought demons.  Throughout history geniuses have shown to suffer a deficiency in another area of the brain because their genius takes up so much brain power. And that is what Robin Williams was, a genius.  

The word genius gets thrown around a lot, just like the word hero, but Robin Williams was a force of energy that couldn't be contained.  When he first sprung onto the television screen as Mork in "Mork and Mindy," he took the world by storm.  (Before I get corrected, I know Mork began on Happy Days). Immediately everyone was talking about him and his incredible talent.  He followed Mork up with another four letter character as Garp in The World According to Garp.  A definite sharp turn from Mork and a glimpse into his expansive talent.  His mile a minute radio DJ in "Good Morning, Vietnam!" again took us to another level.  It wasn't until his stand as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society," that he solidified himself not only as a comic genius, but also as a deeply talented actor.  If you missed this movie, it is well worth your time.  The beauty and poetry of the entirety makes this one of the greats. There are so many great movies in his repertoire.  Who can forget his Academy Award winning role in Good Will Hunting?  But the character that put him over the top and forever exemplified his exquisite talent, Aladdin.  In his portrayal of the Genie, he achieved greatness like none other. His lightning speed transition from character to character achieved Robin Williams singular greatness in animated filmdom and a wet dream for the animators. I can't forget Mrs. Doubtfire, which I can watch over and over again.  There are too many favorite movies and characters to write about fully.

I am going to tiptoe into the world of depression.  I have minimal experience, but even in my "darkest" days, I can't understand true chronic and severe depression.  What strikes me is how alone he must have felt.  How deep the pain he must have experienced.  How he wanted it all to stop. Many people think that suicide is a selfish act.  It's not that simple.  This isn't a person who did a bad thing and couldn't take responsibility for his actions.  This is a tortured soul that clearly couldn't take it anymore. He succeeded in taking his own life, but his family, his friends, and his fans lost so much. All of us are wallowing in the loss.  Maybe we are the selfish ones....

Robin Williams a genius talent that will live on in our memories and on screen.  Robin Williams was a big hearted supporter of causes.  Can't forget the success of Comic Relief to raise money to help homeless people, along side Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg.  His committed and loyal friendship to Christopher Reeve before Mr. Reeve's accident and especially afterwards.  We can't forget how much he loved and lost.  First Christopher Reeve and then, his comic foil and father figure, Jonathan Winters.  Maybe it was all just too much for him.  Maybe he believed that after the pain, they'd all be together again. 

I'm sure that none of us can understand this completely.  I am grateful that we even got the chance to witness his greatness for almost four decades.  He gave a lot and maybe had no more to give. R.I.P. O Captain, My Captain.

Sidebars:  So happy to take a break, even with the death of Robin Williams, from all the world events.  I will get back there.  I will again say how much I hate the euphemisms of death.  On MSNBC last night, they said that Robin Williams passed away.  Hate that.  Feels so wussy to not say the harsh truth.  He committed suicide or he died.  Passed away is for those lucky enough to die in their sleep.  Being killed by a gun, isn't "passed away."  Being hit by a car isn't "passed away." And while I mention being killed by a gun, I can't go silent on the death of James Brady.  He took a bullet for President Reagan as his press secretary.  Lived with physical challenges for decades and finally died from his gunshot wounds 30 plus years earlier.  He and his wife spent the rest of his life fighting for gun control. With some success, they did get some laws passed, which have since been whittled away.  R.I.P. James Brady.  Tonight, sit down with your family and watch America's Got Talent on NBC.  Great family fare.  Hug the people you love and little tighter today.

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