You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me

You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me

Adrienne BoettingerThursday,14 August 2014

The Snap:

Since his death on August 11, I’ve been binge watching clips of Robin Williams and reading articles about him. Part of it is that I have a nasty summer cold and can’t concentrate on much. Part of it is that it feels so wrong that someone who oozed life out of every pore would not be able to take the pain and sadness of day-to-day life. There was no way you could watch him on stage or screen and not be struck by his charisma, brilliance and force-of-nature like personality. Why is it that the candles that burn brightest are extinguished too soon? Why is nearly the whole world expressing their love of that manically talented man after his death?  And did he have any idea of how deeply he touched so many lives?

The Download:

His death doesn’t make sense. No deaths make sense really but it seems impossible for such a funny and fun-loving man who has had so much success to take his own life. That is if you don’t understand depression. Depression hits people in all walks of life. It is real. It is not something that you can snap yourself out of or something you can just ignore.

I’ve talked of my depression before on TSD.  I’m not ashamed of it. I have been working really hard to deal with it. That’s not to say that Williams didn’t work hard — in fact, by all accounts he was one of the hardest working, kindest and most generous men around. No one will ever know what it was that made him give up his fight.

The life of a human being cannot be summarized or packaged in simple, neat terms and it should not be reduced to the last moments of his or her life. The truth of the matter is that Robin Williams lived a full and boisterous life with family and friends, enjoyed great successes and suffered some failures, and made the lives of so many much brighter. If you can watch his stand-up or interviews and not be clutching your stomach from laughing so hard, then I’m pretty sure that you’re an evil robot.

For me, his most powerful role will always be that of Professor Keating where he urged us to seize the day and make our lives extraordinary. As that character, Robin Williams was a lover of words and an inspirer of dreams. The loss of this great actor has inspired many to salute him and the joy he brought the world by standing on their desks, as his students did in the film. “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things a different way.”

Robin Williams was simply one of a kind. Thanks, Captain, for sharing oh so many laughs with us.


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Hat Tips:

Washington PostNew York TimesThe AtlanticGeorgia News DailyKansas City StarSlateDisney on Broadway, Image Credit: Flickr*


*converted to black and white

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