Robin Williams – Stop the Pain

Let me begin by saying I am writing this to try to come to grips with my own loss of Robin Williams. Let me also say that all I know of Robin Williams I know from his work on the stage and screen; in other words, I am no insider (family, friend).


I do, however, strongly relate to the state of mind where the only thing that can be done to stop the pain is to end it all. Suicide is the ultimate escape. Ultimate, final, permanent. Forever.


While I have stood at the edge of the abyss, I have (obviously) never taken the next step. I understand that there are some 40,000 of our fellow travelers in the United States that do take this next step every year. One suicide is a tragedy. 40,000 is an epidemic.


The pain is real. It is as real as real can be. Suicide is an act of desperation.


By any measure that society embraces, Robin Williams was a success. So too, John Denver, Karen Carpenter, many others. However, in their minds, they had failed. The pain comes from failure. The pain comes from a lack of hope. The pain comes from emptiness.


Yes, life is tough – for us all. We have very different lives. But, we all bring ourselves to the table, and present ourselves to the world, and very often the world flips us off. Day after day. Yet, the show must go on. Shouldn’t it? Some choose to conform, and may find some comfort in assimilation, maybe even to the point of losing themselves. Some may rebel, and find the conflict rewarding. Some choose to chuck it all and flip off the world.


While we put one foot in front of the other every day, we step out a journey of self-discovery. We all – without exception – strive to understand who we are in this thing called Life. Despite the cliché, we do, in fact, try to find ourselves.


For me personally, the hand of GOD has stayed my own hand, many times. I know of no other way to explain it. For me personally, it is GOD’s daily intervention in my own life that enables me to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other. It is the absolute conviction that GOD is a real presence in my life that keeps me in this game, keeps me slugging away, keeps me from turning the occasional vacations from the rat race into a permanent departure from this world.


For those that are not similarly blessed, what about our friends? I used to be a Facebook user; but after awhile I found that no one wanted a dialogue. No one asked me about me. Seldom did anyone make any comment about me at all. It seemed that all of my Facebook Friends were much too busy talking about themselves to be at all interested in me. Day after day, it was “look at me, look at me”; not enough was it “what about you?” So, when I ask about our friends, I most definitely do not mean Facebook Friends.


I mean those people that do care, and act like it. They are more interested in you than themselves. They want to know how you’re doing, and say very little about how they’re doing – unless you ask (a dialogue, remember – interaction, not just observation).


As I said at the beginning, I did not know Robin Williams (or John Denver or Karen Carpenter), or any of those people close to them. So, I am only suggesting that they did not so much fail themselves as their friends failed them. I know, I know: who am I to say such a thing? It would be brash if it wasn’t stupid.


But, may I ask what you are doing to help those people you do know? Do any of you have it easy, and need no help? Are any of you totally alone and like it that way? Thrive in the complete absence of anybody or anything outside of you? IMHO, we all need somebody; whether it is another person like ourselves, or another person like Jesus.


It is too late to help some. But, it is not too late to help others. Learn from our losses and step up to supporting and befriending others. We all need help. Life is too big and too tough to go it alone.


“I get by with a little help from my friends” – you know this lyric, do something with it: be a friend. You might find your own pain is eased by helping others. Others just might follow your example and help you cope with your own pain. If you get in the habit of reaching out to help others, your hand will already be out there for someone else to take to help you. Win-win.


Robin Williams, thank you for sharing. You are missed. Rest in Peace.





  1. September 21st, 2014
    Trackback from : Dr. Vincent Malfitano

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