One of the problems with being lucky enough to have a forum like Unshaved Mouse is that you feel obliged to sound off on everything, even if you don’t have anything particularly insightful or unique to say about the subject at hand. Again and again I’ll sit down to write something about Gaza or Ukraine or Iraq and a still small voice pipes up in the back of my head.
“Mouse. Do you really having anything to say about this that hasn’t already been said, probably better, and by people who actually know what they’re talking about?”
“Then why are you writing it? Idiot?”
And I hate that guy, but he’s usually right. But this time, it just felt wrong to let it go by unremarked.
This was a bad one, wasn’t it?
I mean, beloved actors die all the time but for whatever reason Robin William’s death has really hit people where they live. Last night, the scene in the House of Mouse was my wife tearing up at the end of Hook (“To die will be an awfully big adventure” “Death is the only adventure, you know that.”) and my two year old daughter stroking her hair and telling her over and over that it was “Alright Mammy.” This one hit hard.
I think the reason that William’s death has elicited real, genuine, personal grief from so many people is that each generation had “their” Robin Williams whether it was Mork or John Keating or Genie. Another reason maybe is that he feels so irreplaceable. No one else did what Robin Williams did, his style, his energy were just so unique and instantly recognisable. That’s gone now, and, as the Irish expression goes: Ní bheidh a leithéad arís ann. His like will not be seen again.
He deserved better than this. He deserved to die happy in bed aged ninety nine and doing an impression of Elmer Fudd reading the emancipation proclamation. Not like this. Maybe that’s why it hurts so badly. This is not how the story is supposed to end.
I just want to finish with this. As I said already, this is nothing that has not already been said, better and more eloquently, a million times before. But I’m here, and you’re here, so I might as well write it and you might as well read it. As wonderful a performer as he was, as rare and talented and utterly iconic, he was not one jot more or less unique and irreplaceable than anyone else reading this. And if you ever feel like you want out, please remember that there has never been anyone like you before, and there will never be anyone like you after. And that to lose you would be a loss every bit as tragic and terrible and irreversible as his was. I’ve never been suicidal, thank God, but I have, like most people, dealt with depression from time to time. Talk to someone before it gets bad. Trust me on this. Talk to friends, or family, or a counselor. Talk to me if you want.
And remember this above all; depression is like everything else in this life. Temporary.