How I'm Feeling

This one isn't really for anyone but me.

I won't be linking this on Facebook or Twitter. So if you stumble across it, I suppose it's because you already follow the blog. I'm distracted. Like everyone, so sad about the passing of Robin Williams. I feel like I've lost someone I actually know personally.

I'm thankful we don't have cable television. I know if we did I'd be glued to the news, unable to break away. It's hard enough opening the internet. He is everywhere. All over my Facebook feed, as people remember him, share their favorite moments, grieve together. On every news site, every landing page. It's overwhelming, truly.

The video clips are like a moving scrapbook of my lifetime. I was 4 when Mork and Mindy debuted. I have always been a fan. His was the first stand-up comedy routine I can remember watching. There is no one who can make me snot-running-down-my-face-howling-tears-streaming laugh like he can. And he is gone. And by his own hand. How is that possible?

When the news broke, I couldn't hide my shock from my kids, who are young, 7 and 9. They don't really know who he is yet, but recognized his face as "the man from Jumanji" and his voice as "Fender from Robots - oh we love him! He's so funny! 'Tastes like chick-unnnn!'" And proceeded to run off and pop that DVD in the player and I had his voice in my head for the next hour or so.

Scrolling through his filmography, there are all the memorable movies of his - of course Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, and Dead Poet's Society - and some I had forgotten about. Awakenings for one. Insomnia for another. He was truly terrifying in that movie. And my favorite of his: Patch Adams. The fact that he AND Philip Seymour Hoffman are in that film together is really something I can't think about right now.

We are all more than the face that most people see, Robin Williams perhaps most of all. It is no secret that he struggled with a great many things, often while trying to alleviate the struggles and sorrows of  others. As more and more of the personal stories come to light, it is staggering to think of all the people he has touched. With his humor, yes. But also with his humanity. Those stories are what makes us truly feel this loss. He was a funny man. An hilarious genius that cannot be replaced and the world is a little more sober without him. No one will really ever be his brand of funny again. But that is not why we're so sad. It's because of the person he was. Not perfect, not without mistake, not saintly. Just human.

I can listen to his funny moments now - his standup, his comedies, his goofy bits. And even sad, they still can make me snot-running-down-my-face-howling-tears-streaming laugh. Amazing. But I can't watch Dead Poet's Society. Or Good Will Hunting. Or Patch Adams right now. I know I will one day. And I will have a good, long, ugly cry.

I have a friend, Ryan, who was a little more brave than me and tried watching Good Will Hunting the evening that the news broke. This was on his Facebook feed the next morning. He said we have permission to share:

Going back to last night, I tried to watch, but couldn't finish, Dead Poet's Society. I've seen this movie at least 20 times, and am always the better for it. About every third viewing, I tend to sigh and wish, as I'm sure most of us do, that I had a teacher like Robin Williams. But last night, I realized for the first time, that I did have a teacher like Robin Williams. It was Robin Williams.




Shannon C said…
Allison, I feel just like you do. How could someone so happy on the outside be so sad on the inside that he felt he could not live. I understand depression- my mom suffers BADLY from it and doesn't get the helps she needs, and it shows. He tried to get help and I am sure the best help out there and it didnt work. I just cant understand this. He was amazing- I loved the Bird Cage - it is my favorite movie he did and Patch Adams that had me cry loudly in the theater as I watched it. He touched SO many lives. I am disgusted they had to release the details of this death, can NOTHING be private? They would have list those details for the average person that took their life. Let his memory be a good one a happy one, not filled with horrid details of the end. He will be missed. NANU NANU Mork!
I can't even imagine how hard it is to live with something as crushing as depression. The fact that he was able to give so much of himself in such a funny way while feeling the way that he did much of the time is truly amazing. I know that he will be remembered well by his fans. I do wish, however, that they naysayers would just be sensitive to his family and be respectful of his memory.

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