My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Darkness Wins . . . This Time: On the Loss of a Beautiful Man

22 Comments

Photograph: Wynn Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Imag

Photograph: Wynn Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Imag

Why do talented people have to suffer so?

I am shocked by how much this lovely, wildly talented man’s suicide hurts. We lost a friend earlier this year to suicide, and like Robin Williams, our friend was thought of by everyone who knew him as a wonderful, funny, happy, generous guy. His suicide rocked us all to the core, and even though I didn’t know Robin, his loss is doing the same.

There was no missing that Robin Williams was manic at the very least. His live comedy was all over the place. Highly entertaining, to be sure, but still visibly unbalanced. That was likely a large part of his appeal. You just never knew what he was going to do. In 1980, my parents actually let me go see his live show, “Reality, What a Concept.” (Still not sure why they agreed to that.) At one point, he actually started climbing the curtains. It was the funniest performance I’ve ever seen, and it had a big part in forming my sense of humor (such as it is), but it was also a bit scary.

He was in so many of the movies I’ve loved, movies that will stay with me forever, like The World According to Garp, What Dreams May Come (which makes us cry hard every single time), Dead Poet’s Society, Awakenings, AI, Bicentennial Man, Too Wong Foo, ToysThe Birdcage, and on, and on, and on.

Unbalanced or no, there are few U.S. icons these days as beloved as Rob. In addition to his overwhelming talent, the man’s reputation as one of the nicest men in Hollywood also spoke volumes about the level of devotion he (should have) enjoyed.

In early 2000, I joined Audible.com specifically because I’d heard that Robin Williams was doing an audio interview show. He got a really impressive list of greats to sit down with him. I downloaded and repeatedly enjoyed these interviews. In particular, his interviews with John Lasseter, Nathan Lane, Eric Idle, and Billy Crystal were played and replayed on my 1st generation iPod Mini. I absolutely loved the show. They are no longer available on Audible, but wish there was a way we could all have a listen. He so genuinely enjoyed his interviewees that you found yourself enjoying them right alongside him. It’s hard to imagine that someone so seemingly filled with light was all along battling darkness.

robin 2Although I’m dealing with some tough things right now (who isn’t?), I am lucky enough to have a pretty good handle on my depressive tendencies. But I worry what something like this must do to the thousands of people currently struggling with thoughts of suicide. If I were in a worse place, I know I’d be thinking if someone as beloved as Robin Williams can’t make it, what chance have the rest of us got?

So I’m sending love and hope and better days to all my people and to all the people who read this who do daily battle with darkness. Keep fighting, lovelies. I will, too. You never know what beautiful thing is around the corner.

 

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

22 thoughts on “The Darkness Wins . . . This Time: On the Loss of a Beautiful Man

  1. Really well said. Thank you for writing this–and for visiting the Jenn stories so I could find this post.

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  2. One of my all time favorite people, not just actor, not just comedian (even though he is my all time favorite) but all time favorite people. Nice post.

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  3. Beautifully said. Very sad loss indeed.

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  4. Well said and such a sadness for the world that such a beautiful man who filled the hearts of others with laughter and joy, had to battle such dark demons.

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  5. What a well-crafted post; the last two lines are brilliant and will stay with me, encouraging and strengthening me. The only good, if one can call it that, from any tragedy is that those left behind might treat one another – and ourselves – with greater tenderness. Loss and grief must be forged into bridges to better times. That is the OBT we must take from this loss.

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  6. Beautifully written post. I’ve just finished reading “Leaving Van Gogh” and now this. Two brilliant flashes of energy and light both battling interior demons. My heart is just broken for Robin because I, like you, felt I knew him. He was dearly loved and will be missed.

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  7. Thank you for ending with sending love and hope. I always know when it comes from someone who deals with depression and other mental illnesses, they truly mean it.

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  8. Pingback: Such a Cute Age… | My OBT

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