“Our job is to improve the quality of life; not just delaying death”- Patch Adams
I’m an emotional wreck this morning. I’ve been bawling my eyes out from the time I woke up when a friend sent me a link about the fateful death of Robin Williams- one of the best actors who ever walked this earth.
Our world is shocked and choked.
My world is shocked and choked.
Robin Williams has been one of my favorite actors since I can remember- since the days of Hook, Alladin, and Mrs. Doubtfire. In all of the movies I’ve seen of him, it never looks like it’s his ‘job’ to be funny; it was just who he were (or so it seem).
His cause of death appeared to be suicide due to asphyxia (suffocation). THIS alone hit so close to home for me because my dad died through suffocation as well, 27 years ago. Whether that was suicide or not, remains a mystery to this day.
My heart is filled with an unbearable weight of sadness, even though I never knew Robin Williams personally. He just always seem to be so full of life and passion in his movies. A passion to make the world a better place by making people laugh at him or themselves. In Patch Adams he truly show how we often don’t need medication to feel better; we just need a clown with a red nose and a good laugh.
But that’s often the case with lot of what I do.
We (I for one) are at our most comfortable when we can make others happy; when we can make them laugh, but we struggle to share a joke with ourselves. We struggle to see the funny and lighter side of our own lives; of our own stories. I love making people cracking themselves at my 30 year old stupidity. I love having people locked in to every line as I take them through a certain experience or event.
People love it. I love it. I love watching people’s faces getting all wrinkly as they laugh at, or with me.
But after many of those moments I walk away empty, like a burned-out clown with smudged make-up as the entertainment broke me into a sweat. It is a tiresome process to give to others what you can’t give to yourself. I’ve often felt like the clown with the painted happy face, because happiness isn’t something that comes natural for him.
Clowns hardly ever receive as much as they give. Clowns get taken for what they are: clowns. It’s hard for people to see the person behind the red nose and make-up, even when those things are removed. We find it hard to understand that every clown has a story too. It’s often their stories, in whatever shape it unfolded, that pushed them to make laughter their medicine.
Robin Williams had a story.
He felt the pressure of giving the whole time, of making people laugh, of always cracking others up and receive so little in return. He had struggles; things he dealt with; questions he wrestled with; he felt lonely…
But he’s expected to entertain; not be entertained. He’s the famous actor. He’s the funny guy. He’s the one helping others work through their struggles. It is always assumed that whatever they’re giving to us must come from deep within.
And that’s far from the truth.
Through many of my days of listening to others; helping others; making them laugh, I have been deeply depressed myself. But how do I tell my friends that it’s okay for loud, funny, bubbly people to feel depressed, or at least to admit they get depressed.
Apparently Robin Williams said that he had always thought that the worst thing in life is to end up alone, but it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that makes you feel alone.
When I was in college, I started this movement that was build around the idea that no one should EVER FEEL ALONE. Because all forms of suicide stem from the lie that no one is aware of our struggles, and so we end up putting on a facade of happiness until it weighs in on us so heavy that we believe we’ll do the world a favor by relieving it of our presence.
I say this from experience.
I felt connected again, and it set me up for healing and wholeness, to where I’m at now.
But, there’s thousands of Robin Williams’ out there. Thousands of people who will not be as blessed and filled with grace as I am, through friends.
People who will give up on life because they believe loneliness is their destiny.
Please fight for the Robin Williams’ that you know and come across.
Tell them something true about themselves.
Sit with them.
Listen to them.
Peace to you.