All I could say was “No. It cannot be true.” Robin Williams died and at his own hand? It seems so unreal that the man who made us laugh so freely could die so tragically.
If I had a brief time with Robin, could talk with him personally, and share with Him what I would love for him to know, here is what I would say.
Let me set the context. Invariably, the first thing that would happen in our introduction is he would make me laugh. With his speed of light quick wit delivered in the tone of at least one of his impersonations of someone real or invented, I would probably be mentally probed, insulted, and assaulted with laughter. Then I would say…
“Thank you! It is so nice to be in the same room with you although I have felt like you have been a regular guest in our home. In the darkest times, you made me laugh. You made US laugh! You still do. Please keep us laughing! When wars were brewing and boiling over, you made us laugh even at the absurdity of it all. When weather disasters hit, you made us know there would be the hope of another day because we could laugh at this day. When politicians did questionable things, you poked fun at them whether they were Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Republicans, or whatever the political flavor that era happened to bring to us. We could hear from Mork calling Orson, Mrs. Doubtfire admonishing children, or Adrian Cronauer inspiring soldiers when you opened your soul to us.
And than was only the beginning…
Your voice danced with the animated Aladdin as you made us laugh and dance with our kids. You became a living flesh and blood Peter Pan as you “Hooked” us with and everyone in the world could identify. You have made us think the “Crazy Ones” are maybe the only ones who are sane.
In the language of my early childhood, you were a “trip” who regularly “tripped us out.” And if the movies were not enough, you came to life in a television interview. You were funny even and when you were especially not profane. You never had to be dirty to get a laugh. You were just funny. Some people SAY funny things and some are JUST FUNNY! How were you so quick?! You were like an entire baseball team and even a few members of the opposition playfully bantering simultaneously. How could you make a hit in the conversation, run to first base, be the third baseman turning to make the triple play, and end up being the one who pitched, hit, caught, and threw someone (sometimes yourself) out ALL AT THE SAME TIME?! You could hit home runs and then take someone out verbally like a laser throw from 3rd base to first. Your mind and your wit were one of THE MOST amazing creations that I have ever seen our Creator give a person.
Can I talk to you about the God stuff for a little bit? To me, you were proof that there is a God who always was, is, and is to come. He fashioned you in such a unique way that you became a gift to humankind. In your giftedness, you saw the darkness as well as the light. You and I know that we all instinctually have a “dark side.” You spoke of it often in interviews. Mark Twain, a fellow comedian from another era said, “Most of us are like the moon. We all have a dark side that we do not want anyone to see.” I get that about me and you and everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth.
But there is also a side that God brightens in us like the side of the moon facing the sun that shines in the darkness of night. The light comes from somewhere else and is reflected off of those who turn that side toward the sun. I really believe there is a heaven. I really believe there is a hell. I really believe people go there, but I also believe that we live a bit of both on this side. You’ve seen hellish things and heavenly things while you have been among us. There is a solution to hell, by the way. It’s life-true, living, everlasting, bright. And the Light was, is, and always will be Jesus Christ. The Father sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. He did. We hoped to save you some real life even when life seemed irrevocably, irretrievably dark. I would have loved to be “Jesus with skin on” to you as a family member of the One who equips us to be a light for God’s glory in a lost and dying world. I hope you got that truth while you were still living…maybe even in your last breath.
You brought light. I hope I will see you on the other side. In the meantime, I’ll thank God for you and the light and laughter and little bit of heaven you brought on this side. If I could have spoken with you right before you decided to take your own life, I would say, “LIVE! We NEED you! You need US! We need each other. God sent us each other to help each other along Life’s bright, dark, and gray paths. We will help you. We will love you. We will pray for you. When you cannot keep from shaking, we will feed you! We just want to love you more. Stay with us! Jesus came not just to save us but also to save life for us! Since you were often explicit in your own way, he came to be explicit too.” I love these words:
“I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of… John 10:10 (The Message)
You were part of this life dream as we row our boats gently and sometimes frantically down the stream. Like Aladdin, you were a friend from a distance and maybe, so to speak, even out of this world. And I never had a friend like you. We never had a friend like you. I wish you had let us be to you what you have been to us. We would have loved you 24/7/365. We always have. I hope I see you on the other side.”