Oh, well he suffered from depression, you know, a disease, like cancer.
He couldn’t sleep one night and decided it was a good time to end it. He ate some chinese food, put the leftovers in the fridge, brushed his teeth, washed his face, and hung himself with a belt. A chemical imbalance they proclaimed, you know, he was sad for no real reason. A medical condition divorced from the realities that form it. Basically, there were some thoughts he just wasn’t able to push aside.
What ran through his head in those final hours. Was he like, man, I suffer from depression? Was he obsessing about his temporal worldly significance? Was he wishing he’d found that girl from his mind whom he thought he was destined for but hadn’t yet met? Did his life feel like someone else’s, or was he overwhelmed by the prospect of Parkinson’s and losing control of his functions?
Maybe it was a bit of it all. But maybe they made up the Parkinson’s diagnosis to comfort the rest of us, and really, he just couldn’t justify getting up, eating breakfast, and talking about the weather any longer. I’ve read comedians’ humor grows in dark places, and maybe they harbor more demons than the average Buck and Mary Thompson, but I thought laughter was the happiness pill. And I had hoped age brought wisdom and peace of mind. Robin Williams was funny and old, so where’s his suicide leave Buck and Mary in their pursuit of happiness, or at the least, their pursuit of suicide avoidance?
Perhaps suicide is a disease of the narcissistic, afflicting those wrapped in the plight of their existence and its apparent insignificance. Or maybe it afflicts the opposite of narcissists, something like empaths or self-loathers, people who see their individualized selves as non-existent anyways, so they choose to realize the inevitable. Or, maybe the pendulum between banality and suffering is too few interrupted by bright moments to face another day.
I don’t know. I just read most suicides are middle-aged white men who have recently suffered some type of loss (job, family, bodily). I guess Robin Williams fits that class. May you all find those things that give you the strength to be alive — surfing, quilting, hiking, traveling, reading, volunteering, hanging with loved ones, etc. — and have the opportunity to do it more often than not.