Obsessing Over Robin


I cannot stop thinking about him. I cannot stop tearing up. My heart hurts. How can this be? I never met this man but I am so deeply sad at his passing. I keep thinking of his kids. When my husband died, my daughter was only 17 years old. It was hard. Very hard. But my daughter’s dad died from an illness that nobody questioned. Ultimately, it was a heart attack. Robin Williams also died of an illness, two actually – addiction and depression. Ultimately, reports today indicate he hung himself with a belt. He hung himself. What? What? I cannot process this. I am absolutely stunned. I just don’t understand how a man who brought such great joy to millions and millions of people and who, by all accounts, was incredibly kind and generous, can come to an end like this. And if I, a middle-aged widow from upstate New York, cannot make sense of this, what must be happening with Robin’s kids? His youngest son is only 19 years old. His name is Cody. How can Cody, and his two siblings, Zelda and Zach, come to terms with reports of their father’s death at his own hands?

How could a father do this to his kids? How could a husband do this to his wife? How could a man do this to himself?

I probably sound so incredibly naïve. A friend in L.A., sober for thirteen years, and a friend in N.Y., sober for one year, two weeks and five days, have both written of the hope that his life, and also his death, can serve to help others. I fervently pray that it does – that if there is someone out there thinking that he or she has no other option than suicide that maybe they will see there are other options. I fervently pray that Robin Williams’ death, and life, will help people like me who don’t understand this (now), but will take the time to learn so that maybe we could help … or at least recognize when someone needs help. And I fervently pray that Cody and Zelda and Zach are surrounded by loving friends and family who, in Zelda’s words, will remind them to look up.


7 thoughts on “Obsessing Over Robin

  1. Ann

    When I first heard the news I cried. It just didn’t seem right. He chose death and my husband would still have loved to be here. Robin Williams was such a part of our lives through his movies and interviews. And then I felt angry……my husband didn’t want to die and leave everything he loved but Robin chose to. How could this be fair? But then I realized that life had to be so painful for him that this was a better way…….maybe for both himself and his family…….who knows? Mental illness and addiction can be even worse than physical/terminal diseases. I feel for all those loved ones he left behind. They will have questions. I don’t. So I will pray for them.


    • I think you have identified part of my struggle. My husband had just retired (one month). We had such plans. He didn’t want to die. But, as you wrote, “life had to be so painful for him” (Robin).
      Thank you for commenting.


  2. Maris

    Someone who is very close to me who suffers from depression described it me the best that he could. It sounded so terribly, terribly awful. There is no hope and nothing to make you think tomorrow will be better. He said it was, for him, like his feet were in cement when he tried to to take a step. That a black cloud was over his entire being every day when he woke up, if he could even sleep…and it went on, and on, and on. No wonder people self medicate with this terrible disease. I have a cousin and a father in law who chose suicide. One suffered from depression and the other alcoholism. My cousin left two teenage children. I know how much she loved them. The pain must be unbearable with no hope in sight. I don’t think we know what it is like and I cannot question their choices.


  3. Ann

    Susan, I’m Bill’s sister. Vicky sent me your blog a few months ago. My husband died a year ago…….somehow it doesn’t seem possible that a year has gone by. I relate to so many things you post. Hard to lose the best part of your life and then try and move on. Thanks for putting stuff out there that makes me feel like I’m not losing it. Never having been through this before it’s helpful to see that I’m not alone in the way I feel. Thanks for blogging…….it’s been helpful.


  4. Sally Barnard Daggett

    It is weird when we obsess on something like this. I’ve had the same problem not being able to come to terms with someone who jumped off a bridge in the Albany area (you may know the story…). It’s just surreal. Also depression. We just can’t really understand what another person is thinking/how their brain is operating. Conceptually–yes; but, really? No. I guess that’s why we keep processing it…over and over… trying hard to make sense out of what happened, when really we can’t.


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