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.