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Robin Williams' death left a void in our lives

On Monday August 11 many of us here in Michigan lost important personal possessions thanks to Mother Nature.

During the course of the day, we had six inches of rain, causing road closures and flooded basements. When it was finally over, some Michigan residents had as much as several feet of water in their homes. Others were blessed with only an inch or two.

My journey home from Sterling Heights to Dearborn took just over three hours. And I had to park my car and walk the final mile home.

But there was worse news – comedic genius Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide.

I couldn’t help but wonder how this man who made so many of us laugh to the point of tears was gone.

Williams was a man who made life bearable for many of us. When things were bleak, there was nobody better than Robin Williams to escape with.

Though born in Chicago, Williams spent some time here in Michigan. He lived in Bloomfield Hills and attended Detroit Country Day before moving west to California.

In 1973, Williams was accepted into the prestigious Julliard School where he befriended the late Christopher Reeve.

Williams battled depression and drug addiction for years. Many fans and friends were not aware that Williams was also in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

After Williams' death, his wife Susan Schneider released the following official statement:

‘Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.’

Loved by many fans, friends, and family members, Williams was heavily involved in numerous charity projects. He reached out to our veterans and our US Troops over the years.

Robin Williams is survived by his wife Susan and his children, Zak, Cody, and Zelda. He was 63.