Robin Williams: The Uncle I Always Wanted

Robin Williams: The Uncle I Always Wanted

I never met Robin Williams. I know a few people who had, but the closest I ever got was at the Flubber premier. I was up in the balcony seats and he was down at stage-level. So, yeah. Not exactly meet-and-greet scenario there.

I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t know about Robin Williams. From Mork & Mindy reruns to The Crazy Ones, I always latched on the moment I heard he was part of the cast. I knew I would laugh and, as I got older, I learned I might even shed a tear. He was a fantastic actor, a great comedian, and those who met him always said he was the nicest guy a person could ever meet. Even as an actor, it seemed like he was only able to be himself. That’s how I knew him and that person was the uncle I always wanted.

I knew about his struggle with addiction. I’m no psychologist, but addiction seems to almost always come paired with other problems, the foremost being Depression. So, when I heard he killed himself, I wasn’t surprised. I was angry that he would do that, angry that he felt there wasn’t someone he could confide in, and sad that the action is so final. Though, when it comes to his feelings, I suppose I’m making some bold assumptions about them.

Still, Robin Williams had a huge impact on my life, but it was in such a way that I didn’t even realize it until the news hit my Facebook feed that he would never create again. Suddenly my personal world collapsed to an invisible box that I had recently just freed myself from. I can still count on one hand the number of days since I’ve stopped feeling trapped from my previous loss. When Robin Williams smiled or went on one of his wacky, hyper improved acts, I thought I could do anything. It’s strange to realize that, but it’s true. I know I’m not alone in this.

We’ve lost a lot of celebrities this year. Most of them made barely a ripple among their fans, especially compared to the tsunami that was Robin Williams. But here we are, two days later, and he’s still being talked about. I wonder if he knew exactly how much of the world he improved just by being him? I wonder if he even had an inkling of how much he meant to so many people. People who only were touched by his greatness through the filter of light and film.

When I hear the phrase “bigger than life,” I think of Robin Williams. That is a huge burden to carry, especially considering how kind a man he was. So, maybe he did have that inkling. Maybe he already knew he was the best “uncle” a person he never met could ever have. If he didn’t before, I’d like to believe he knows it now.

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July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

[image: Robin Williams FB Page, unknown]