Opinion Pieces / The Latest

“Genie, you’re free.” Remembering Robin Williams

Romantic composer, Schubert, once said, “When I wished to sing of love, it turned to sorrow. And when I wished to sing of sorrow, it was transformed into love.” This sentiment is very poignant for me when I think of Robin Williams. His impact on the world has been vast – and I feel safe to say – will be infinite.

He has taken on many creative roles as an actor, comedian, and voice-over artist. My favourites include Fern Gully, Mrs Doubtfire, and Jumanji. His cross-dressing character, Mrs Doubtfire, changed the typical view of divorce and absent fathers. Williams’ character was willing to do anything to spend time with his children – even dress up like a female babysitter. The positive messages of conservation, love, and respect in Fern Gully ring ever true. So much so, that Hollywood is churning out remakes and adaptations to this day. He did the voice over for a crazy bat called Batty. His comedic performance not only makes people laugh, but it also makes people think. Jumanji, the epic bildungsroman adventure movie deals with loss, post-traumatic stress disorder, adventure, and the lengths people are willing to go for each other.

News sites have been flooding my social media with reports of his death by suicide. It is always heartbreaking to hear that someone has lost themselves to an all consuming, inescapable darkness. Behind Williams’ smile there was always a melancholic sadness. Even though the world has lost a great man, I hope we can transform this sorrow into love.

If you think you are suffering from depression, please don’t go it alone. If you need help in finding some medical and/or emotional support, don’t hesitate to speak to your local healthcare practitioner. There are also hundreds of websites, world-wide, that offer in-person and online support for people suffering with depression and other mental illnesses.

Remember to share the love.

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