I was devastated to hear the news of Robin Williams’ death. He was always a symbol of my childhood, and honestly, I think a piece of my childhood just died with him yesterday. You know that an actor is great when he has such an impact on people’s lives, that you feel almost like you’ve lost a long time friend, even if you’ve never met him. That’s how I felt yesterday.
To me, Robin Williams wasn’t just a comedian. He represented a sliver of hope in worlds that carried heavy misfortune. He often played the hopeful characters, the light in a dark room. In Aladdin, he was the genie granting wishes to a poor thief. In Good Morning, Vietnam, he was a radio DJ making troops laugh despite their position in a violent war. In Dead Poets Society, he was a teacher who inspired students to find their own voice and “seize the day.” Good Will Hunting, Jack, Patch Adams, The Fisher King, Hook, Awakenings, Mrs. Doubtfire, the list goes on and on and on.
He was the man who could take a bad situation and turn it all around. That is what he symbolized to me. So to hear that he died in such a way is absolutely heartbreaking, but it goes to show that depression can affect even those who have been given the gift of creating laughter and hope for other people.
I can only hope now that this man has found his peace. I thank him for being that light for me in dark times, and for taking part in making my childhood one that was filled with wonder and laughter. The world had lost a wonderful and inspiring talent yesterday, but he will live on eternally in the amazing characters he brought to life on screen.
“Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – Dead Poets Society