…and by his own hand, no less.
indianmacgyver’s site has an awesome piece called The Fallen Saint. It very deftly reaches the core of what I think is one of the greatest causes of human pain: concealment. It also inspired this response based on the aforementioned tragedy and some of my own current pressures.
Robin Williams, in some way or another, has probably been of service to each and every one of us. If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume your life experience has probably exposed you to him at one point or another…and that was probably enough to make you at least smile. You may know a lot about him; his birthday, that he had a daughter name Zelda, when he got his big break, but did you know that he was hiding so much pain so as not see an escape?
No. You didn’t.
Because his pain was hidden. Deep. Underneath his service, below those he served. Down beneath even their pain; beneath our pain. Which is, of course, the last place any of us would ever think to look; maybe the last place we could ever even begin to see.
The one good thing to take from this, however, is a big one: IF SOMEONE LIKE ROBIN WILLIAMS, WHO ACHIEVED SO MUCH, AFFECTED SO MANY PEOPLE AND, QUITE POSSIBLY, CAUSED MORE SMILES THAN ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING IN HISTORY… couldn’t find enough relief in his service, couldn’t hide the pain deep enough to escape it, then it becomes clear that the rest of us schmucks don’t stand a chance at hiding the hurt under help…
…so it should stop.
Been out of a job for over a year now, and things are worse than ever. Got offered a legitimate career, but unless something changes, I’m not going to take it. If I did, I’d be taking it to relieve the worry of those around me. I’d be taking it to assuage a sense of responsibility, gratitude or ethic. I’d be doing it to satisfy a tenet that says one must contribute, but has no concern over whether anything is being contributed to one. I’d be doing it to serve any number of reasons other than my own, and the only thing that would make that bearable, would be that I could hide the pain of not making decisions for my reasons beneath the notion that I would, at the very least, be of some service to…something.
No more. I’m not going to hide how much this hurts underneath some sense of being beholden to something else. I won’t let my life be buried under a perceived debt of service to some great Other.
I’ve always felt like I owe something for wanting to be happy. It has taken me a long time to realize I don’t owe anyone anything, and that being indifferent to or negligent of my own pain carries too many risks. I won’t defer my needs until I feel I have adequately satisfied the needs of those around me. Not anymore. I won’t cover that deference under the smile of a humble, happy servant.
No more hiding.
Goodbye, Robin. You will always be missed, but never lost.