I was driving home from work when I found out about Robin Williams.
“Robin Williams Dead at 63. Apparent Suicide.”
My heart dropped. A lump the size of a tennis ball welled up in my throat. I couldn’t hold back and I just sobbed. I cried, with my hands over my face, for a good three miles. Never, ever had a celebrity death hit me so hard. I felt dumb for crying so intensely because of someone’s death whom I’d never even met, but I couldn’t stop the feelings. They started deep in my gut and exploded from my heart, my eyes, my throat, from every place that they could escape.
My soul was overwhelmed with the rush of feelings suppressed for so long, and I just broke down. I hurt for him, for his family. It broke my heart that someone who brought joy to millions of people could be so down that he thought suicide was his only way out.
A rush of familiar feelings came over me, and have stayed with me since then. The barrage of memorials and photos and shared memories have constantly reminded me of the heartbreak and trauma I struggled with, and still continue to struggle with. I think of what it must be like for his family, I think of what he must have been thinking and feeling in that moment and I think of all the people who have felt that way before.
I wish I could hug every one and make everything okay for them. Depression is a debilitating disease.
Driving home from dinner the other night, as I was scanning the radio, a news bulletin comes on giving details on his death.
“…found in a seated position with a belt secured around his neck …”
I gasped loudly and quickly changed the station, but it was too late. Image after image after image flashed through my brain, like a slideshow, each picture bringing with it more and more emotions. Waking up to find your loved one dead … no words can explain that feeling. I wondered who found him seated with a belt around his neck. I wondered what their reaction was. I wondered if there was anyone there to help.
I wondered if years from now they’d still be having flashbacks to that morning.