I'm at a loss for words right now. I was at a loss for words yesterday evening, sitting on my recliner, scrolling through my Twitter feed and I literally read this post and knew something horrible just happened:
Fuck fuck fuck. Please be a hoax.
It wasn't a hoax. Robbin Williams was dead of an apparent suicide (the autopsy will be done on Thursday, I believe). Robin had been reportedly suffering from depression and had a history of alcohol abuse (recently checking into rehab for it) and yet this was one of the most unexpected passings in recent history. We've lost some incredible talents over the past few years. I wept for Gandolfini and for Hoffman most recently, and last night I wept for Williams.
This is a very different kind of feeling for me though, and as I've seen on Twitter and even here in the blogosphere, there seems to be a common thread to all the mourning. Robin Williams was such a large part of everyone's childhood. Whether you grew up in the 70's, 80's or 90's, Robin Williams has been a real staple in households for nearly 5 decades.
Robin Williams was our friend.
One of my fondest memories growing us was snuggling in my parent's bed watching Mork and Mindy reruns before bed. I remember mimicking Williams, acting out scenes with my father, "Na-no Na-no" being a common phrase in our house. My earliest memory of television at all was watching Mork and Mindy. In fact, true story, I dressed up as Mork for my first day of kindergarten (it was show and tell) and, while this did set a precedent for how I was going to be treated in school (I was never popular, always considered a bit of a nerd but excelled in drama class, thus snagging the hot chick by the end of Middle School), it was a comfort for me on my first day to be dressed as someone that made me happy. Yes, regardless of my thoughts on his film career as a whole (I've been vocal about not really being supportive of his Oscar nominations, and his recent film output has been lackluster), Robin Williams always made me happy. As a child it was Mork and Mindy, as a teen it was Mrs. Doubtfire and as an adult it was discovering gems like The World According to Garp (where he should have been Oscar nominated, and maybe even won).
His voice made me smile.
So here's to you Mr. Williams. Here's to the times you brought my family together, made us laugh. Here's to the memories of crying with you during Patch Adams and truly shivering from your tremendous performance in One Hour Photo. Here's to the first time I saw you mimic fellatio in that apelike arm of yours or the childlike glee I had the first time you popped out of a bottle. Here's to the fact that you were an icon, a truly recognizable presence and a man who touched everyone. Here's to you, my friend; you will be missed.
And here is to anyone out there suffering from depression. Please, I beg of you, talk to someone!