In a reply to a comment made on my previous post, I said I write about what’s weighing on my heart. I am not a trendy person. I don’t write about what’s popular or in the news. But today I am going to break tradition so to speak, because the death of Robin Williams is weighing on my heart.
When the news report of the death of Robin Williams broke through Jeopardy on Monday evening, I was shocked. As more details were made available and his death was attributed to suicide, my shock and sadness deepened. The man who made the world laugh had been hurting so deeply inside that he took his own life. He didn’t see any other way to break free of the darkness and pain.
I’ve said numerous times that you may never really know what’s going on with someone. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. A marriage that may seem happy outside the house could be a living hell once that front door shuts. That was my first marriage. The same is true with people. Someone could be smiling on the outside and sobbing on the inside. I’ve hidden my true feelings many times. I didn’t want anyone to know how bad it was for me. My closest friends and family believed my words of “I’m fine” when I really wasn’t.
You never know what a person is really feeling unless they open up and say the words of the heart. “I don’t know what to do.” “I can’t deal with my life.” “I feel so sad right now.” “I don’t want to do this anymore.” These are all statements I’ve felt, but they never passed through my lips and were never said out loud. I didn’t want to worry anyone. I thought I could deal with it myself, so I kept these words to myself.
I don’t know what demons haunted Robin Williams. I don’t know his life circumstances or the darkness he felt, even when he was surround with the light and love of his family and the millions of people he touched around the world with his laughter, entertainment, and kindness. But I do understand those personal demons that make you believe that the only way to peace is suicide. I do understand the darkness that can fill every crevice of your life until there is no light to be seen anywhere. I’ve been at that point, but, fortunately, I never took the final step. Suicide is the ultimate escape from the demons, depression, and darkness. There is no turning back.
When I was at my darkest of times, it was my very young son who saved me. The thought of never seeing my son again, feeling the softness of his baby skin, hearing his laughter, or watching him smile when he saw me was a feeling worse than the darkness and pain I was dealing with at that time. For me, the thought of not being part of my son’s life or seeing him grow up was enough for me to start looking for the light in that darkness and to stop listening to my inner demons. My son was my light in that darkness, and I followed that light each and every day. I began to heal from a very abusive marriage and to believe that I was worth something. Slowly, my life became more light than darkness. Eventually, I was able to deal with my life and cage the demons that haunted me. I became strong enough to stand on my own. I am grateful for that because I needed that strength as I dealt with the death of my grandparents and then my mom’s illness and death, all in the span of 8 years.
I’ve told both my kids that suicide is not the answer. It is an end that can’t be changed, hurting those who love you and leaving a lot of unanswered questions. When you’re in the darkness, you can’t see this. I want them to understand that there is nothing so bad in life that can’t be worked out. It may take time. It may take a lot of work. It may hurt more before the pain lessens. But at some point things will get better somehow. There is so much pressure these days that I worry about my kids, especially knowing that depression runs in my family. I don’t judge people, and I hope my kids know that they can always come to me with anything that’s on their mind or in their heart.
It saddens me that the only way Robin Williams felt he could escape the darkness, depression, and demons was to end his life. My heart goes out to his family and those closest to him as they deal with his loss. Robin Williams made me laugh during sad times and kept me company as I traveled for work. I loved him as an actor and entertainer, and he was an incredibly talented individual. I hope Robin Williams has found peace.