My heart is heavy upon hearing about the death of Robin Williams. He was a beloved actor, and he was the star in my favorite movie, The Dead Poet’s Society.
I feel like I lost a friend tonight. I never spoke to him, nor saw him in person, but when he was on the screen; his piercing eyes seemed to be looking right at me. They sparkled when he was funny, they appeared gloomy, when he was sad, they flashed when he was angry; however, it was the love that showed in his eyes, which lured me into his web of imagination.
He suffered depression. How I wish I would have taken the time to write him a letter and tell him I understood. I knew how he hurt, and I knew he could not magically snap out of it. I wish could have held him in my arms just once, listened to him, and maybe have given him a moment of comfort.
The hole his death has left in this world is massive. When I have wondered, as we all have, how I am ever going to get through this or that, but we hang on for one more day and things somehow get better. For Robin, I guess the pain became more than he could carry in his heart any longer. I can’t help but wish he had waited just one more day, and reached out to his fans. In so many movies, Robin directed us and taught us lessons about life, we; his fans would have been glad to have had the chance to help him through this. I wonder how many people have committed suicide, and if only they had reached out to one more person, that person, may have been their saving grace.
There have been a few people in my life, I loved so much; I would have taken a bullet for them without hesitation. There were those people for Robin, but in the midst of his pain, he could not see they were there. I am sure he felt all alone when he made that final decision to end his life.
The Dead Poet’s Society left an impact on me when it came out in 1989, because it touched my soul. I watched spell bound, because when Robin Williams acted, he could make us believe it was life unfolding before us. I felt it when he had the students stand on top of a desk to see the world from a different perspective. I have stood on the top of a desk all my life. It is not always easy when you look at the world in ways that are different from the norm. With his creative genius, it is clear Robin Williams spent his life on top of the desk too. When you dare to be different, you understand the power of non-conformity, and the sensation of freedom. There are four times in my life I have felt really free. The first time was when I was floating in the ocean. I felt a peace like I had never felt before. The second time was standing on a rock cliff, looking up at the sky; arms stretched to the sun, and knowing if I lost my balance, I would fall to my death. However, I felt secure and free of worry on that cliff. The third time was on the back of a motorcycle. I felt like I could ride forever with the smells of the earth filling my nostrils, the wind on my face. I believed if I kept riding I could just fade into the sunset. The last time, I once again stood on a cliff; arms stretched to the sun, feeling my hair caressing my skin, and I prayed my troubles would be carried away by the wind. For a brief moment, I could let go of the past. I wonder if Robin ever had those times. I like to believe he did, when his creative mind would work so fast that his thoughts were all that mattered at that moment. I wish I could take his hand and have him stand on a cliff with me. Robin Williams was a free thinker. Robin helped shaped me into one.
I wonder if Mr. Williams thought about that movie moments before he took his life; for in that movie, one of his students took his life; unable to cope with the pressures any longer. I imagine that is how he felt, that he could not cope any more.
I am crying as I write this, I lost part of my youth tonight; I lost a man who never knew me but shaped my thinking. The tears are falling from my eyes as I listen to the click of my keyboard; my fingers taking on a life of their own, believing that Robin Williams would like you to reach out to someone; to take their hand, to climb on top of a desk with them, and to see the world from a different perspective; before it is too late.