It is heartbreaking that Robin William’s committed suicide today. The whole world is shocked and saddened. What could have led such a talented and successful man to take his own life? The simple answer is that depression can be a bear of a disorder. Also, I think it highlights that we all have pain in life – no matter the station we have achieved nor the gifts we have been given.
Each of us owns a part of every celebrity we admire. They fit into our lives from the characters they have played to the stories they or their lives have told. When we sit in a theatre and watch one of our “heroes” telling a story about a deep life lesson we are greatly impacted. We trust them. They are movie “idols.” They are 40 feet tall. That this could happen to someone we so trusted, admired and perhaps wanted our life to be like, strips away the veil of our own immortality.
I think with someone like Robin William’s the grief is further intensified by the fact that he was first a television actor. When we go to a movie at a theater we get dressed up, we drive there, we may have dinner, we are seated in a theater where our hero is larger than life. When we watch television we may be sitting there in a robe, with pizza on the table and we are inviting that actor and his character into our house. And we do that week after week. The television actor becomes more like a friend or family member that a movie star does.
When Robin Williams died we all lost a member of our family.