My first reaction to the news of Robin Williams' was that it was probably suicide. The signs were there. His latest series,
The Crazy Ones
, seemed like a tired retrofit for his manic personality. And there was always a strong strain in melancholy in his characters. Maybe the "funny" had finally fizzled for this manic, but profoundly sad man.
I have to confess that my second reaction was anger. At him. For having put his family through the excruciating ordeal of dealing with the suicide of a loved one. I knew this was harsh, but it was what I felt. How could a person not take into account the agony of his wife and kids before taking such a drastic action
As I came to think about this more, it seemed apparent that the pain of depression is greater than most people can appreciate. If the pain of a toothache can be blinding (and it only last for a few days) what must it be like to suffer the constant stab of depression -- over a lifetime? You can escape it for a while -- I supposed that may be what propelled Williams to act so manically and to drown himself in chemicals. But how long can you keep that up, even with therapy and drugs to take the edge off? In Williams case, the answer was 63 years.
The consolation of Heaven is that for suffering people like Robin Williams, there is a place where your mind can survive while shorn of the frailties and fragile design of the human brain. Robin Williams did so much good in his life, so there is no doubt that his spirit lives with God. While we recall his incredible oeuvre, and sympathize with his grieving family, he rejoice that in the arms of the Lord, he is experiencing new life where pain and tears and death are gone forever.