The great Robin Williams is dead of an apparent suicide. He was a comedic genius who, regardless of political persuasion, made most everyone I know laugh. Good Morning Vietnam remains one of my favorite movies, but then so many of his movies were so fantastic.
He had been battling drugs and depression for some time. Suicide is too often an outcome in these situations. I have lost several good friends to suicide stemming from mental health issues.
Every time our society is confronted with a mass shooting or a famous person committing suicide, we spend several days collectively wringing our hands, getting philosophical, then resuming our lives. In fact, were it not for the famous or the insane, we’d pass over this issue as society often ignores the suicides of soldiers coming home from war or in war.
In a week, I have no doubt the conversation will be shifted back to something else. We collectively have a short attention span. But maybe, just maybe, beyond the red vs. blue, the left vs. right, and the political topic of the day, we might be able to pierce through the news cycle and sustain a conversation on mental health and depression in this country.
I wish we could. I fear we won’t. Now would be a good time to stop being philosophical and start showing those who suffer mental health issues that we do care for them and want to de-stigmatize the process of getting help.
The sound and fury in the void of mental darkness sweeps over too much genius, taking from us so much greatness. It is just so sad and we should pray for Robin Williams’s family today.