The death of the legendary Robin Williams has taken the world by storm. It was close to being unimaginable that someone seemingly happy and content would have so many demons in his self.
I have always loved his work. Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack, What Dreams May Come. But of all his works, perhaps his role as John Keating in Dead Poets Society was the one that struck me. As a lover of artsy fartsies, I first saw this film in 1998 and I knew I was right in deciding that I should surround my life with book and ambiguities and vivid imaginings of every bit of every thing.
I wrote about one of my favorite quotes, and it still is today even though the relationship I referred that quote to has turned sour:
It was the power of his words, the genuine kindness and sincerity, candor and humor, all mixed in a ball that will make him most memorable to me. Because in my saddest days, I have turned to Mrs. Doubtfire for physical comedy, Aladdin for romance, Jack for more carpe diems. I will never forget the life he brings to the screen. It is just with great sadness that I didn’t get to see him perform live.
I caught a glimpse of his award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting and already I have a favorite scene. It has been commemorated by numerous fans, and now it is part of my list to see that bench in Boston Public Gardens.
I am in no position to speak about depression as I know very little about it. But there need not be another high profile death to the disease just so we can keep ourselves informed. Let us learn more about it, open up a safe space for dialogue, be there to provide comfort, because who knows? The words you say today may save someone’s life tomorrow.
Take care, Mrs. Doubtfire.