A belated farewell to Robin Williams – sometimes it feels like it’s about me

Robin William’s death was beyond tragic. If I could have been with him I would have told him how I struggled with this myself. I wrote a few blogs about a recent bout I went through. One was a suicide note: After he was gone: Darkest Days.

A friend  wrote me an imploring e-mail reaching out to me. I changed the wording after I had settled down… a bit After he was gone: Darkest Days 2.

I obviously have a strong affinity for those who are left behind after the death of a loved one. When Williams’ wife posted about allowing them privacy during their “profound grief,” I was struck again by my own personal journey. I have used that exact phrase in my own blog. Ironically (not in a funny way), I recently posted a blog about my grief journey and my own battle with depression: My new reality.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone even reads my blog (save for a few good friends). A few people post on Facebook and other social media, and some tell me they read it. Some say they don’t read it. Fair enough. But without the tangible feedback those in the world of their own depression feel alone.

Reaching out is scary. No one touching you when you reach out is worse.

The other night I had a friend over. I read my bog post My new reality to her and she cried. I realized that it’s too painful for people to read. So if they find it too painful to read about other people’s struggles then it’s no surprise that we keep our demons to ourselves.

Rest in peace Mr. Williams. Your demons are purged. You are missed profoundly by those who loved you most. but you aren’t in pain anymore.

8 comments
  1. Thanks for sharing, Suzanne. I always look forward to your blog posts because they are meaningful. As you mentioned, sometimes it can be too painful to immerse oneself in another’s suffering and sometimes it’s exactly what everyone needs. Our culture is one that preaches independence and self-reliance, and it’s tempting to withdraw and follow the cultural norm. However, this way of living, shielding others from our grief or life experience is unnatural, and I’m fairly certain that deep down, everyone knows this to be true. We are a communal people. We need each other. It’s not just a convenience to spend time with one another, it’s a fundamental part of being human. We take turns giving and receiving support. It’s a beautiful thing. Keep pushing the boundaries because frankly, the boundaries are whack.

  2. Our society imposes the boundaries that your friend, Christina, wrote about. And those boundaries isolate us, often when we least need to be isolated. Baring one’s soul, one’s deepest thoughts (especially when they are not ‘happy’ thoughts), is risky and frightening and most are unable to do so. Those who do, like you, take enormous risks but the rewards, those of connecting with others and being supported when it’s needed, are equally huge. Keep talking – we are listening – and we care.

    • Thanks Ceci. I appreciate hearing that. I do feel isolated. It often happens late at night. I toss and turn and can’t bring myself to wake anyone up. What would I say? The mind works in strange ways when you are sad, lonely, feeling desperate and depressed. I have cried and screamed and asked “Why this? Why me?” It makes no sense. The pain is intense. It feels selfish too. So many other people have bigger problems. I hope Robin Williams has laid his demons to rest. And may he rest in peace.

  3. Grief scares people. Many don’t understand it, sadly until they themselves have to go through it. And I too remember feeling unable to reach out, hence sitting alone on many a day. It was the people I didn’t expect to be there that were the ones that meant the most.

    As by now you know, every day that passes acts like a balm on a tattered soul, but it doesn’t take much for that scab to be ripped away again. The journey is way longer than seems right or fair.

    Hugs Suzanne.

    • You are write about everything you say, Katherine. I know you get it. I agree about people you didn’t expect being there. It’s a nice surprise and helpful. But you don’t want to keep dragging them into it. Sometimes you have to force yourself to deal with it yourself. You’re right. It’s not right or fair. Hugs.

  4. I always read, Suzanne. I think a lot of people read posts – ones that are reaching out and ones that aren’t – and simply don’t let you know. I have readers like that. They’ll tell me at a signing, “I’ve read all three of your poetry books!” Meanwhile, I had no idea. It’s a struggle at the best of times for me to keep on writing, just for the sake of writing and not knowing who’s reading…and I’m not dealing with grief like you! But you ARE making a difference. People ARE reading, maybe it’s just 1 some days, but I really believe if you can touch one heart, you’ve made a difference. I know you’ve made a great difference with your writing about your journey. You may never know how many people you’ve touched. Please keep at it.

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