Wednesday, 13 August 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I SUSPECT I was not alone in shedding a little tear on the passing of Robin Williams yesterday, knowing he will no longer grace our TV or movie screens with his madcap humour.

But there is a great sadness in me that again someone who brought so much joy to others left the world seemingly feeling alone.

This is not a criticism of anyone in his life, especially not this wife or children who are clearly shattered by the loss of a loving husband and father.

Depression is not something I truly understand, I think if you do you are often a sufferer of it. But my empathy for those who do is immense. I hear all the time how 'How he is he/she depressed when he/she earns so much money/has such an easy life/has a wonderful family/career.'

But that is far too simplistic view of the illness and does not take into account the one person who matters, the sufferer themselves.

Imagine if you will life as a major movie star or sports star, you reach a huge high in your career with an Oscar or a huge movie role or the winning goals to win your club a trophy.

People around you then expect that every time you walk in front of a camera or on the football pitch and you put pressure on yourself to deliver.

Should things not go well, a movie fails or the sports star gets injured, depression can lurk in the dark corner waiting to pounce.

No amount of fancy houses and cars, a whopping bank balance or gorgeous wife and kids will offset depression, you can't fight the big black shadow off that easily.

Everyone who is lucky enough not to have met this shadowy figure needs to pledge to understand those who have and help in anyway they can.

We talk and understand cancer openly, it's time we did the same for depression. Don't look at person's wealth or fame, look at the figure in front of you.

Robin Williams touched the lives of many, made many people laugh and cry in equal measure yet felt so troubled he felt compelled to end his life.

We should remember his comedy, his wonderful range of acting and the moments which made you laugh so hard you almost wet yourself.

But also remember his depression, if we can stop just one person from replicating what happened in a mansion in California on Monday in a council house in Leeds next week then we might have a better and more understanding world.

RIP Robin, thank you for the memories, you were a comedy legend who has gone too soon. I hope you have found peace now and that in time so will your family and friends.

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