Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You shall be missed, my friend...


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!

14 comments:

  1. This is a lovely tribute. I woke up to this news and was v.v.v. saddened by it. PSH was a favourite actor of the older me but Wlliams was definitely one of my childhood heroes and it's awful that he is gone now.

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    1. Thank you, and I am with you 100%. These two losses, in the same year, is overwhelming.

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  2. You know, I was responding back to your tweet about Spencer Tracy when I was blindsided by this news. I hate that aspect of social media, you know? I like knowing, sure, but damn it, sometimes I'm really not ready for that level of desperation...

    Anyway, nice tribute, man. I share many of the same feelings you do toward Williams. Ugh...

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    1. I know what you mean...sometimes I'm just not ready for this kind of stuff.

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  3. Wonderful tribute Drew! "Robin Williams was our friend" ... indeed he was and that's what's so hard to hear about his passing, esp the WAY he left us. What's awesome is that a lot of people had grown up with his work, whether it's his TV debut or his later movie roles, and he was quite a prolific actor. Oh how I miss him so...

    – ruth

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    1. I'm with you Ruth. I'm so happy to see this celebration of his career though, instead of focusing on the pain of his loss. It's making the sting easier to endure.

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  4. He was our friend. That's why this one stings so much.

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    1. Exactly. I still can't...it just doesn't seem real. My wife just came in my office a few minutes ago and said to me "how will we ever watch RV again?"...and she's right. These films that once filled us with such joy are, for at least the more immediate future, going to bring us pain.

      Watching 'Good Will Hunting' this morning was not the wisest decision on my part...

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  5. This one really hurts as I'm still in shock about it. Yes, depression is a disease and it's one that people needs to understand more. I've been through it and it was horrible. I know I can fall down again but if you have people who are willing to help you. At least can get yourself back up again. I just hope Robin doesn't have to suffer anymore.

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    1. I'm glad that you have surrounded yourself with the right people Steven! The most we can hope from a terrible situation like this is that it moves other to seek out the help they need before it's too late.

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  6. ah yes, my oldest memory was him as Mork too. Such a strange character, yet so lovable at the same time. great post.

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    1. Thanks Candice! Yes, Mork was an odd one, but one you couldn't help falling in love with.

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  7. Excellent write-up! His passing hit me even harder than Hoffman's or Gandolfini's, and it's probably because I grew up watching films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin and Jumanji. Like you said, he was our friend.

    I really need to see The World According to Garp. I'm going to watch The Fisher King and Awakenings soon, but I need to check out more of his lesser-known films.

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    1. That's really it, man. I mean...this one feels so much different because I honestly feel like he was a part of my family growing up. Even my mom was bowled over by this, and she's never effected by celebrity deaths.

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