I was checking in on Facebook on the morning of the 12th and one of my friends had written this:
“I’ve unfriended six people so far. Each of them posted updates indicating that Robin Williams is a coward, who took the easy way out.”
Up until that moment I had heard nothing about his death.
My first move was to Google his name.
That was when I heard the news.
Robin Williams, dead at age 63 from an apparent suicide.
Like most people I was utterly shocked and saddened.
I then thought back to my friend’s post about what people were saying.
My internal reaction to their comments was more visceral and aggressive than it was to his passing.
I can’t do anything about Robin Williams.
I wish I could, but I just can’t.
What CAN we do about people who call him a coward who took the easy way out?
Block them on social media?
Fire back with venom?
Give them a high five (in the face…)?
There are lots of things we can do that might make us feel better for a minute but in the end the only person we can really change in ourself.
To those who bravely work to address depression and mental illness, keep up the good work.
It is not easy and your courage is inspirational.
Continue your meds, go to therapy and be really good to yourself.
To those who’s lives have been impacted by the suicide of a friend or loved one, know that we can’t cure a person’s mental illness. All we can ever do is love and support them even when we can’t fully understand what they are going through.
To the misguided fools who have used words like “coward” or “selfish” to describe Robin Williams I have this to say
Depression is not a character flaw.