I so remember watching Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy when I was a kid. Did I just date myself? I also watched many of his movies and found that he had such a wide talent of acting, from the seriousness of Dead Poets Society to the zaniness of Mrs. Doubtfire. He was so talented! But to the younger generation, he will always be the Genie in the animated Disney’s Aladdin.
I was saddened to hear of his passing yesterday and even more sad to hear how he died. The fact that he took his own life… Obviously, people of all sorts have dark times, but they are defined by how they deal with those times. It is because of this that I took the opportunity to discuss Robin Williams death with my teenage daughter. Here is a synopsis of what I shared with her.
- Personal wealth and fame can’t solve everything. In this age, it seems as if having a lot of money and fame would make your life better. If that were so, we would still have Robin Williams. Obviously, I don’t know his specific financial situation, but one would presume that he would have had access to the best treatment available; however, this did not keep him from suicide.
- Alcohol and drugs are not an answer. There are so many people who use drugs to “escape” from reality and to seemingly make themselves feel better. Alcohol and drugs only make the dark darker in the long run. Many people who go through treatment may “recover” for a while but eventually go back to that way of life again. Don’t fall into the alcohol and drug trap to start with.
- If you feel as if life is not worth living, you need to talk with someone. You may want to talk with your parents, a pastor, or a medical provider. If you don’t have anyone to talk with, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Life is never bad enough to kill yourself! There is always hope!
Now, I know this is a more serious subject than I normally approach here, but I hope it will encourage someone to look for help. Also if your children are old enough to process this information, let them know you are there for them if they find themselves in need of discussing problems. Keep the communication open!
To lighten the mood a little, I’m going to link up a really cool YouTube video of a much younger Robin Williams with Walter Cronkite.