I was checking my email Monday afternoon when a headline came over one of my updates: Robin Williams commits suicide.
Are you sure?
Robin Williams the great actor?
It stopped me dead in my tracks.
I am not a big moviegoer but Williams’s humor and enormous talent touched me. He made me laugh and cry by his range of films.
I couldn’t go to sleep that night thinking of a good friend many years ago that also took his own life. Suicide is final. We can’t wrap our heads around it since it makes no sense – except for those for whom it does.
When my friend died it cut me to the heart and I realized that besides my sadness it went deep to the belief of who I am as a person – I always have hope for everyone I meet.
Hope is what keeps us keep going, gets us out of bed in the morning, and carries us through the valleys of our lives.
Edwin Shneidman was a scholar who studied suicide. He coined the word psyche -ache, a term he used to describe the psychological pain of those who commit suicide. They fear the psyche-ache of their current life more than they fear death.
I thought of Billy Crystal since he and Williams were good friends and can’t imagine how he must feel except how I felt all those years ago:
No time to say goodbye!
But we loved you so much!
We have no idea what goes inside each person’s head and I don’t think one ever gets over a loved one committing suicide.
I do know that since I had this experience I can talk about it with colleagues and friends, and know some of what they are feeling, write about it, and hold hope that one day they will feel a little less ache in their souls over their lost loved one.