I hesitated to do this post because like when Whitney Houston died I didn’t want to just be one more maudlin grab at attention from tragedy. Everyone probably knows that Robin Williams died yesterday of an apparent suicide.
It’s strange because if you had asked me if I was a Robin Williams fan before yesterday I would have said ‘not any more’. His comedic riffs seemed outdated and I was not a fan of his recent show The Crazy One’s.
And yet, when I heard about it I started to cry. I’m not sure I can even explain it but it impacted me.
The 90’s were golden for Williams and that was when I grew up. Just like with Houston I seemed to have outgrown Robin Williams but when something like this happens you remember and mourn for a little bit of that innocence which is lost.
3 of his films really stand out- Dead Poets Society, Aladdin and Mrs Doubtfire.
These movies all seem very different but they all contain varying degrees of his manic comedic riffing but also had a lot of heart.
Along with Home Alone I can’t remember a movie making me laugh more as a younger person but it had real heart too.
Dead Poets Society came out when I was only 8 so I learned about it from friends when I was in high school and it is one of the first tragedies I remember responding too. Before that the movies were for fantasy, laughter and entertainment.
Dead Poets Society
It’s interesting a few weeks ago I did my Disney Tag and I mentioned thinking Aladdin was a bit overrated but since I made the video I’ve actually been thinking about it. I was going to watch it and see what I thought. I remember seeing it and laughing at all the jokes and great songs. I don’t know if those jokes bear frequent repetition but I’m going to watch an old VHS and see.
I did say in that video if I could pick any person from a Disney movie to be my friend it would be Genie. After all ‘you aint never had a friend like’ him.
But even Aladdin had a moment of heart for our Genie
I guess I just want to say one more thing. I think the reason why I cried yesterday doesn’t really have to do with movies at all. I have seen addiction and depression wreak havoc on my extended family and I think most of us can say the same.
In fact, I have not been immune from depression and anxiety myself. I’ve spoken about it many times on this blog. I had a period of my life where I was so unhappy that I honestly doubted whether I could feel happiness again. I seemed to be presented with happy things but never felt any real joy from them.
I remember my mother asked me ‘why is this so hard? You’ve faced a lot of hard things. Why is this so tough for you?’
I said ‘because every other time I could see the out. I could see the ending but I don’t any more. I feel like there is a black cloud over my life and it won’t go away’.
It took a nervous breakdown to wake me up and make the changes I needed so I could rescue myself. I will never forget staring at a plate of spaghetti and thinking ‘why isn’t the rest of my life this good?’ It was really scary to jump into the unknown but it was either that or I hate to think what I would have done further down that road.
Life presented me with a way to rescue myself and just after I quit my job I was unemployed for 6 months. People kept asking if I was bored and I’d say ‘no way’. What I didn’t tell them is I was healing. I was remembering what made me special and happy.
And that was when I started this blog because I was smiling again.
I was rescued and it makes me sad when others are not. Please try to reach out to those you love and tell them you are there for them. If someone is going through depression don’t judge, just hug them and help them rescue themselves. Pray for them.
Anyway, I don’t mean to be sad but it was on my mind and I wanted to share it with you. God is there for you. He loves all of us and He wants us to be happy.
I am donating to St Jude’s hospital in honor of Robin Williams. stjude.org/donate