These past few days we have all reminisced about how one man has brought us the gift of joy into our world.
For me, seeing the news online was heart wrenching. I grew up in the Bay Area, and saw Robin Williams pull off some crazy things that periodically made its way into the news.
He was loved around the world, as well as in his home town. The fact that he was a 49ers Fan was just an added bonus in my book.
Whenever I saw him perform, I looked in awe at how his talent and skill at improv would take a situation and make it funny. I watched Mork and Mindy with my Mom, and we’d laugh while seeing many other performances of his as well.
Driving across country with my Parents I’d have several of his lines from “Good Morning Vietnam” running through my head. It was a tough time, moving across country, and his humor helped me… and also provided several memorable moments with my Mom.
There was no shortage of his energy, and he gave us his all – until he couldn’t give it anymore.
His passion for laughter came with it other issues of addiction, being bipolar, heart problems… and the list goes on…
A few weeks ago he attempted to address a major issue. It was as if after so many years he could detect the onset of major bouts of depression, and tried to head it off before it really became a problem.
I’ve enjoyed his comedy, but I was also amazed at how diverse of an actor he really was… and to some extent, extremely underrated.
Behind the humor, there resided a man who was passionate about his craft.
We all saw it. Anyone who was a fan of his could see that it took a lot of hard work for him to make it seem so easy…
… so easy to make us laugh….
… to make us cry…
To make us think.
His passion to entertain, to make us laugh, to see our response… was his joy.
We could see it.
It was like having a friend or relative stop by when we turned on the TV or see him in a movie.
And for those who had the pleasure of attending his live shows, the energy was unforgettable.
I grew up with this legend on screen…. providing a form of escapism that only the greats ever could.
We lost a great man, who was powered by our laughter – who enjoyed our response.
Let us remember him for who he was to us – giving us the opportunity to laugh at him, at ourselves… at life.
The world may be a bit dimmer, a bit more somber… because we lost a best friend that we never really knew.
We are reminded that even the greatest of people in the world have their own challenges, their own struggles.
We are reminded to encourage one another, to help each other.
One day we will find that joy that will fill this void with his passing…
I’m sure Mr. Williams and his family would prefer it that way.