When I heard that Robin Williams had died I stopped breathing, moving, and even thinking for a moment. Everything stopped.
I felt tears welling up and my heart hurt. I couldn’t believe the news I was hearing. Instantly, I turned on the television where news stations were filled with talking about his death, who he was, his work, his life, and mostly his grace.
There on the screen was his wonderful smile with the crinkly eyes that made you know he had mischief brewing. I remained stunned.
That whole day I was so sad. I felt like a good friend had died. Not a man I’d watched on television and movies, but a friend I had meals with and talked on the phone to. I couldn’t do anything but watch clips of his standup and performances on You Tube.
I know I’m not alone. I know that countless individuals felt the same. I know because for two or more days, his death was the leading story on almost all the news shows.
I spent the next few nights watching his movies. Of course, Mrs. Doubtfire was first. Not since Tootsie has a man so perfectly encapsulated a role as a woman. And don’t we all want a Mrs. Doubtfire in our life?
I was stunned as his poor daughter was harassed by people thinking not of her loss, but of their wants. This poor girl had one of the biggest loves of her life ripped from her and everyone should understand and give her love, support, and prayer.
It is only now a week later that I am beginning to come to grips that this wonderfully caring and giving man is gone and won’t be gracing the screen with his unimaginable talent. Think about it, not only was he a comedic genius, but he nailed some truly stupendous dramatic roles. Two of my favorites, Dead Poet’s Society and Good Will Hunting show his immense and all-encompassing talent as you are awed by his believability and honesty in his roles.
I recall being in New York City many years ago and walking down a street and Robin Williams walked toward me. As he neared, my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything to him, really too shy and awed to bother him. But now I wish I had. I know it might have been an inconvenience to him, but I’m sure he would’ve taken the time to smile that smile at me and make me feel like in that moment I meant the world to him. Oh, that I had been braver when I was younger. I certainly didn’t take his advice and Carpe Diem. Had I done that, I might have a wonderful memory to assuage my sadness.
I send prayers to his family. I hope they can feel the huge outpouring of love that people had for this amazing person who shared their private world. We loved him too, maybe from afar or in dark theatres, but the love was true.
As a last thought. Remember that life is fragile. It is beautiful, wondrous, and can be so fleeting. Make the most of your life. Carpe Diem a little more and laugh as much as possible. I think Robin Williams would find that a good motto to live by.