The death of beloved funny man Robin Williams, came as a shock to a world unaccustomed to facing our own capacity for darkness. The fact that it was a suicide makes it all the more confusing and difficult for people to wrap their heads and hearts around.
I have read many thoughtfully written articles and blogs on the subject. One that particularly affected me was written by the ever wiser, Russell Brand... (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/12/russell-brand-robin-williams-divine-madness-broken-world)Much like Russell, I too have memories of Mr. Williams that reach deep into my youngest childhood. Being in the safety and comfort of my grandmother's house, watching him fanatically. I was obsessed with Mork from Ork. I too, had the pull string doll that talked and came in an egg! He was such a familiar presence in the lives of my generation, very much like a family member. Perhaps that is why it has affected us so much. Or perhaps it is something more. Perhaps it pushes us to recognize suicide in a new and unthought-of way. A way that infiltrates our very hearts and touches us the way only the loss of a loved one can.
I wouldn't dare to speculate about what can cause a person to make such a dire and desperate choice. However, I humbly offer to him, and anyone who suffers in the deep, dark trenches of human sadness, where lie the so-called "demons", just a token of understanding. Be it mental illness, addiction, or just plain sensitivity, many people feel ill equipped to function in this world RIDDLED with suffering. In fact, the sad truth may be that we are all somewhat ill equipped for this experience and the suffering which is the consequence of that, is as old as man-kind itself. It can sometimes overwhelm a person to the point of agony, to the point where even in beauty and joy there is great, heart wrenching pain. When looking upon the face of innocence, or the profound, divinity of love, the sheer wonder of nature, and the cosmic miracle of our very existence, one's heart can be overcome, broken, and quite literally torn apart by the indescribable magnitude, the unfathomable burden of loss, which befalls us to bear.
We, humans have the consciousness to know that our time is temporary, and are eternally faced with the impermanence of this incarnation. Many have found solace in this awareness, but many yet, still suffer greatly over things which are so utterly beyond our ability to control. Could we create a world without war, famine, drought, evil? Yes. Would it be safe from death and loss? No. Human beings are eternally plagued by the truth of this. This is the source of all spiritual seeking. To make some sense of our place in this universe. To understand as much as possible what the point in this temporary trip is.
Life is beautiful. It is also fleeting. Love while you can, laugh while you can, and live like today is your last day to do so. "Seize the Day!", as Robin Williams taught us all in one of my all time favorite movies. Feel your victories as well as your losses and remember that the depth of darkness we are willing to encounter, is directly proportionate to the height of light we are capable of reaching. Never forget the duality of this universe.
And please know that no matter where you are on the spectrum of light and dark tonight, you are not alone. We are all in this crazy dream together, spinning on this hunk of rock in outer space.
Rest In Peace Mr. Williams.