Tears of a Clown (R.I.P. Robin Williams)
"You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." Robin Williams
I think it's safe to say we all felt like someone kicked us in the gut when we found out the news about Robin Williams passing away. It wasn't expected and a lot people didn't think it would feel like it hit so close to home. My night was ruined when I heard the news because I couldn't shake that heavy feeling and nothing seemed normal. How do you feel this way over someone you didn't even know? Someone you never met? The answer is: Robin Williams gave us all a piece of his madness and while we laughed and thanked him, he was hurting. Do you feel guilty yet?
Of course there was no way of us knowing what he was feeling but the idea alone that he was feeling it enough to end his own life is tragic in itself. He was a good guy and he had a big heart. Most of all, he should be here right now but he isn't because of something most people can't even begin to understand. Depression is evil. Point blank.
While most are mourning this loss, some are criticizing his actions. Those who are obviously has no idea what it's like to be that down and depressed. Depression is like carrying a car on your back that just keeps getting heavier and heavier everyday until the thought of being in any other position seems better...even if that position is lying on your back six feet under. No one has the right to criticize Robin for what he was feeling. No one.
We all know what hard times are and we've all been sad for days but in the words of one of my favorite male vocalist, Patrick Stump, "Depression is something that they just don't teach." No one gives a guidebook on how to deal with depression and those little pamphlets at the doctor's office are much too generalized to help. Everyone's depression is different which means that depression is something that we can't teach. The only thing we have is hope that things will get better but if we're not careful, depression will snatch that away too. That's exactly what happened to Mr. Williams. Depression snatched his hope away and I'm so sorry it did because there were new memories he was supposed to create with his family and friends. There were new movies he was set to star in and continue to make history. He had a lot more inspiring to do but depression cut it short.
I thought maybe if he knew how much the world appreciated him and how much he was loved maybe he would have stayed. Maybe he would have fought through the feeling. Then I remembered what that feeling felt like and that thought doesn't help at all. Depression doesn't allow you to feel loved or even think that you are. Depression is designed to be a killer just like any other disease; but just like any other disease, it's not the medicine that works, it's a spark.
It's a spark of madness that we all have to fight and to live. It's a spark of hope, even if it is the last of it. What Mr. Williams didn't know is that he still had his spark, it was just buried deep somewhere inside. I'm sure it seemed impossible to find, but it was there nonetheless. It was in all of his movies and even if he was just "acting" happy, it was there in his personality. See, when he said we mustn't lose our little spark of madness, the thing about it is we can't. We can't lose it because we're born with it. That spark is who we are and it's inside of everyone. Some people just need to do more digging to find it.
Anyone born in the late '70s, the 80s, and 90s always known Robin Williams to be the hero and the funny guy. He was the center of most our childhood films that we loved so much. To those late 70s and 80s kids he was Popeye and a teacher who taught his students about passion and poetry. To us 90s kids he was a genie who granted wishes, a babysitter, and someone who fought creatures and obstacles as a result of a board game coming to life.It's kind of like when you look back he was there all the time. That's why this one hit so close to home. Whether we knew him or not he was a part of us and our childhood. Who feels like their childhood has just committed suicide? I do.
When I told my mother the news she was upset like everyone else and the first thing she said was "Tears of a clown." Of course, naturally I thought of the 1970's, Smokey Robinson song of the same name but thinking about it, the song is just too relevant right now. Smokey basically said that no one cares about the tears of a clown; but Mr. Williams we all cared...
Thanks for your spark. Rest In Peace.