Robin Williams’ passing is hitting me hard.
There are moments in life when a shake up can make you see clearly again. Most times, sadly, this happens in the face of tragedy.
I can, for example, remember everything that happened around me the morning the Twin Towers were hit. I can still see in my mind’s eye the way the sky looked on the way into work. I can remember what I was wearing, people’s expressions and what I ate.
It’s hard not to think of Robin Williams and smile. It was his brand. He exemplified boundless and childlike energy. I can recall almost every time I saw him on a late night talk show, too. Each time I wondered, “How does this guy do it? How can someone be that quick-witted and energetic?” He was inspiring.
Robin Williams was fearless and complete. He was a Picasso. He was an Elvis, and a Michael Jordan.
Yet, it isn’t that unprecedented talent that breaks my heart. No. It’s the sadness behind the comedy. I think of Tony Soprano calling himself the “sad clown,” and see that in Williams. And it breaks your heart.
I think it’s easy to forget, when we are caught up in the comings and goings of the day-to-day, how our true brands affect others. We forget how each of us is a unique piece of thread that, when woven together, makes a beautiful tapestry. With Robin Williams, his thread was a shining and recognizable one. One that all the other threads in the tapestry loved dearly.
In reading the reports, Williams’ agent said how sad Robin was of late, and how he felt alone and depressed.
My friend, if you can hear these words somewhere, remember this: you were always with us. You had the ability to make us present with laughter. You helped us lose time, if for just a short while, and connect with something more pure and divine.
Robin Williams, I can never thank you enough for that.