Let's take this opportunity to reflect on some things...
The tragic suicide of Robin Williams is more than just a sad commentary on how fame and fortune, despite their glittering promise, are not the paths to enlightenment and happiness that so many of us, including myself, aspire to, but Williams' death is also a stark reminder that there are people in this world that, despite their outward, public displays that would suggest differently, are hurting inside in a way only they can understand. What we see we call reality, but most of the time we see what we are meant to see and to look any deeper requires an investment, an investment of time and an investment of the heart, it requires us to drop the veil around our own public facades and risk pain to relieve pain, to extend our shields around another and take the hits for someone who's hurting and vulnerable until they can shield themselves. But there's another side to this that I think is very important that I haven't seen anyone posit on and that is the people that Robin Williams left behind. Not us, his fans, who only knew the funny man in the alien suit, but his wife, his children and his close friends.
They are now left with so many unanswerable questions, so many doubts about their own roles in his death, about whether or not they should have seen this coming and if they could have done anything to prevent it. Suicide is a very selfish act. It's cruel and sudden and it ultimately means that, however strong he might have appeared, that in the end he took the way out that solved nothing, that created no hope and that did the most damage to the ones he loved. I loved watching Robin Williams perform, creating unforgettable characters and moving us to laugh and cry and think and feel, but that is all lost now, in the absolute darkness of doubt and pain that only suicide brings with it. His gifts are lost, now, squandered and thrown away and in their wake is only grief and pain. How truly sad that his legacy of joy should be tarnished forever by his last, great act of desperation.
It goes without saying that if you know someone who needs a guiding hand through a stormy period in their lives, please help them, but it also needs to be pointed out that if you, yourself, feel the walls falling around you, if the only way through the void for you is to surrender to your demons and take the route Mr. Williams and so many others have taken when the air runs out in their lives (including people close to me), please, for the sake of those you will leave in the lurch struggling to come to grips with their own failure to save you, talk to someone, ANYONE, before you give up.
Be brave. Before it's too late.