Goodnight Mr Williams

Nanu Nanu - tribute to Robin Williams by Mark wallis on The Vibes

Who knows the full story behind the death of Robin Williams? While the world speculates about suicide and depression, the only good to come out of such a terrible loss is the increased awareness of The Invisible Illness.

The chemical imbalance in the brain that leads people to give up on everything they should hold dear. You can’t point to it, you don’t come out in a rash or turn purple, which makes it so hard to treat. Depression tells you that nothing is worth it, and you believe it because that voice comes from within. It’s this fundamental misfire which holds so many people back from asking for help. Asking for help involves admitting you have a problem, and so the door of stigma opens: other people’s attitudes to mental health are the biggest barrier to care and healing.

Everyone needs some kind of support, depressed or not. But the most difficult thing to accept is that someone has decided they want to stop living – that the pain of living with The Invisible Illness has become unbearable. To find that someone might be unreachable and that the best thing for them is to let them go is almost impossible to comprehend.

To say that suicide is ‘selfish’ is to deny the presence of a corrosive condition that often erodes the self. 

‘Tears of a clown’ is a strange cliche, but until the truth emerges, I want to remember the joy that Robin Williams brought me as a child watching Mork and Mindy after school. A legacy of happiness.

Categories: Design, Random, Vibe Monitor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Post navigation

11 thoughts on “Goodnight Mr Williams

  1. Bravo for a well-written post. I’ve read quite a few posts about what happened and his depression, and I want you to know that yours was the most sensitive one I’ve found. From one fan to another, thank you for that. 🙂

  2. Wonderful post. I watched Robin Williams throughout most of my life and he made me laugh and underneath the laughter there was this poignant sense of vulnerability that I recognized and identified with. The loss of this amazing spirit hurts my soul and I am profoundly sorry for his family, friends and fans. Mostly though I am sorry for Mr. Williams pain that only he could see and feel. I wish him peace now and thank him for all the memories where he made me laugh till I cried. you will be missed. Great post and I appreciate your well written words about depression and the loss of Robin Williams. Great job. Na Nu, Na Nu!
    Godspeed Mr. Williams,

    • Thanks for taking the time to share your memories of Mr Williams. I wrote this article because I was reading all the outpourings from people who felt that Williams was a pampered celebrity with no right to feel down, as if depression was some attention-seeking luxury break for the over privileged. I have been less polite with people around the internet (some of them my friends) and have tried to show people some truths about the reality of mental illness.

      • It’s troubling that other people presume to know what’s happening in another person’s mind and heart. I don’t know Mr. Williams but I, like most people on this planet, ,have mental illness in my family and the course of that illness can cause serious and grave consequences. Money, fame, and popularity does nothing to shield any of us from demons. I admire your courage to speak out and I enjoyed your post. I pray that no one ever has to ever make the choice to live or not to live. Beautifully done. 🙂

      • Thanks, and I hope your loved ones have all the support they need.

        It’s astonishing that certain friends of mine have such closed minds. I don’t think of them as bad people, but they seem to think they are in control when they dismiss something they don’t understand. It’s supposed to mask their ignorance. And I always wonder if that, in itself is a symptom of depression…

      • Hi Mark,
        I wonder if part of the denial is related to people not wanting to face the fact that they have been or are depressed right now. It’s possible they believe that if someone like Robin Williams can lose his way then maybe they will too. Your post and comments really ring true and I hope that I can at least make it easier for my family and friends to talk with me about their pain. Thanks for sharing. Great conversation. 🙂

  3. And now we know Parkinson’s was a factor, another cruel joke. Thank you for this tribute.

    • Yes! As if depression wasn’t destructive enough. I’ve heard the two go hand in hand. Such a terrible end for someone who brought the world so much laughter and happiness.

  4. Carine

    I am just very sad. Mr Williams was so dear to me, his face and voice are part of some chidhood and of course adult memories through his so great performances.The man stirred profound things in me. I feel I have lost a dear, dear friend. And I am really sorry that he could not find any relief anywhere. I believe that when someone is so desperate that they take their own life, there is no chance that even their beloved ones can help. His pain must have been too big. Yes, he will be missed. Captain my captain…

    • Yes, Carine, depression needs to be treated with the seriousness of any other (potentially) terminal disease. I’ll be covering this subject further in the near future, from a more positive angle, here on The Vibes.

Let me know what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: