My heart hurts. My chest feels heavy. I didn't know him, but I laughed with him and cried with him. He made me think and feel and question. And I mourn his death and the deep pain and sadness he must have felt. And I feel a loss in this great big world.
I know I'm not alone in this. When word that Robin Williams was dead reached Facebook, my stream lit up with photos, quotes, tributes and video clips of this funny, humble, passionate man.
I will not presume to know or understand all the internal demons that Mr. Williams faced throughout his life, but I do know that he left a deep impression on the lives of those who watched him on screen.
But why do we weep and mourn for this person we didn't even know -- this endearing figure who danced across the small screen and large screen entertaining us?
I think, in this case, that Mr. Williams made us really feel life….the ups and the downs…he made us really think and take stock of our own lives…he made us laugh and cry and strive for more. His performances felt genuine and true. He was always vulnerable in his roles; a real, tangible spirit…someone each of us could relate to. He wasn't just playing a role; he became that person for us, the viewers. We believed in him.
He wasn't perfect. None of us are. He made mistakes. We all do.
I can't speak to his reasons or his mind frame or anything going on in his life or mind, but I can say with certainty, Robin Williams will be missed, but not forgotten.
I have an incredible urge to watch Dead Poet Society (my favorite) just to see his face with that smirky smile he always wore that seemed to say "I have a really wonderful secret" and hear that distinctive voice and soak it all up. And I can't wait until my boys are older to introduce them to him through this film and others.
I can still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on Mr. Williams. I was in 1st grade. I had gone over to a friend's house for the evening. After dinner the TV was on….we didn't have a television in our home until I was 12… Mork & Mindy was playing on the TV that evening. I was intrigued…I laughed…this funny little man captivated me.
And that's what his secret was I think. He understood us all and knew how to reach us and captivate us even if he didn't know how to quiet the noise in his head. The way he touched our hearts and understood us made us love him and feel that he stood with us.
My prayer is for Mr. Williams' family and friends that they may have peace and feel the love that is surrounding them. My prayer is for those who personally understand the pain and suffering that Mr. Williams experienced that they might find peace and understanding in life. My prayer is for all of us to live big and passionately and truthfully with a smirky smile that says, "I have a really wonderful secret!"
Now, to introduce my kids to the wonderful, sometimes wacky, world of Robin Williams. And take note of the words of Walt Whitman's Oh Captain! My Captain! poem here. Over and out…