See You In Neverland

By Christine Pitts

To say Robin Williams was an icon is an understatement. He brought joy and laughter to people around the world. When his name is mentioned I wouldn’t doubt that a different image pops in everyone’s head: Genie, Professor, Popeye, Mrs. Doubtfire, Teddy Roosevelt, Peter Pan – the list goes on. I am one of the many mid-twenties young adults who grew up watching Robin Williams’s films. A man, whom I never met, yet had the ability to touch my life and bring me joy through my TV screen.

It was Monday evening when I called my friend to talk to her about something I was going through. Before I could even open my mouth she said, “oh my God, did you hear Robin Williams died… yeah, apparently it was suicide”. My heart broke. Immediately my life was put into perspective. The problem I had called to talk about seemed microscopic and irrelevant. That’s not to say that what I was experiencing wasn’t important for me, but it reminded me that life is so precious and to love myself. I am so lucky and blessed that I had someone I could turn to. The fact that Robin suffered so greatly, and in his final moments felt he did not have someone to confide in, hurts me.

I was driving to work Tuesday morning and of course all the morning radio shows were discussing Robin’s death. I honestly couldn’t believe what some people were saying. I don’t want to go into the details, but I will say that some people are ignorant, blind, and insensitive. A week later, this theme continues through various people who know little to none about mental illness, yet find it okay to judge someone who suffered from it.

FYI: Just because someone has the ability to make others laugh, and is perceived to be well off with money / loved by many, does not exempt him from pain.

I could write for days about mental health awareness. It is a topic I have been passionate about since I was a freshman in high school. However, I won’t write for days or take up too much of your time. But I will say this: the truth is that everyone hurts. The happiest people hurt, the saddest people hurt and the people in-between hurt. Life is not easy. Socioeconomic status does not exempt people from negative emotions. Robin’s death shed light to this fact: too often we feel alone in our pain, when in reality we aren’t alone at all.

If you are someone who is struggling, please know you are not alone. It is okay to not feel okay. It is okay to ask for help. You are loved and cared for. Your life has meaning.

The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255
Click here for their website with resources.
My favorite non-profit is To Write Love On Her Arms. I have found so much hope with them. My wish is that you can find the same. Please click here to view their website.

Robin Williams was a comedy genius and phenomenal actor who unfortunately was fighting a silent battle to the public’s eye – a battle so many others are still fighting today. He will be missed by so many. My heart and prayers go out to his family and those close to him during this difficult time.

Lastly, to sum up Robin’s life I say:  Bangarang! 

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