When I learned that Robin Williams died at his home in Northern California today, I couldn't believe it, so I went online looking for sources to confirm. I found the release by the Marin Sheriff Department, with the heartbreaking phrase that "at this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia."
A portrait from 2002. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com
I saw multiple sources reporting a statement from his press rep:
"Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late," his rep Mara Buxbaum said. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."
I found a news story from last month, which I had missed, saying Williams had checked himself into rehab.
That's how I want to remember this icon of my childhood.
And the news that he was preparing for a sequel to his most beloved role, Mrs. Doubtfire, just makes it so, so clear: Depression is a terrible disease.
I hear this news and I think of all my friends and colleagues and people I follow who have been so brave to talk about their own experiences. Jenna, and A'Driane, Morgan, Katherine, Elizabeth, Feminista ... and so many more.
And I remember suicidal depression, how it was for me, and I think about how it could be again.
It only take a moment to lose the war with depression. Be vigilant. Be brave. You do not fight alone. We're here. #depressionlies
You can be brilliant, funny, rich and beloved the world over and still be unable to climb out of the darkness.
But mostly, today, I remember the genie:
I can't believe the genie is dead https://t.co/kznCnUhEbu
Mork from Ork: Rare evidence that aliens can be smart, clever, articulate & funny. Robin Williams, RIP
And the witty, warm person he was:
When I name my fav movie moments, my fav "Actor's Studio" interview It's "Robin Williams." When I name celebs who give back, it's Robin, too
In 2009. Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press
"Oh captain, my captain." Image: © Touchstone Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com
With Mindy. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com
With Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg for Comic Relief. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com
If you need to talk to someone, visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-TALK.
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