Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering Robin Williams: The Joy of My Childhood

robin williams remembered
  I was stunned this morning when my mom gave me the news. For a moment I thought I wasn't hearing right. Robin Williams is dead? The man who I was always eager to watch as a kid, and even as an adult...it seems incomprehensible. But the first thing that went through my mind--after the thought of what his family must be feeling--was the realization that I wasn't off the mark when I had recently seen a picture of him on the red carpet or at some other photo shoot, and I had thought he looked sad. I don't really look up celebrities--not much. I tend to study other things. But still...the news shocked me. And like many others, it's been a sad day.

  My brightest memories of his work are when, as a child, I'd be visiting one of my dad's friend's house, and I'd be able to watch their Jumanji movie, on VHS. I knew Robin Williams first as Mrs. Doubtfire, (he really won me over, he was just so likeable) as Peter Pan, and as the Genii in Aladdin. Anything new I saw, I was always excited to see more of him. More of his joy, his funniness--his own personality. He was the type of person that you just wanted to give him a hug, I felt.

  On Fox News, on The Five they were talking about how Robin Williams had said before that when a celebrity commits suicide, or dies--I don't remember the exact phrasing--many of them are mythicized.  But I think it is safe to say, that so many people aren't going to be exaggerating when they say that he was such a kind, generous person, and he freely gave of what joy he could. He made us laugh. That's a gift, isn't it? To be able to make people forget for a moment all the trash that goes on, and laugh until our bellies hurt--or even, as he said in his own words, to take the dark and the absurd and to turn it into something you can laugh at. As a means of dealing with it.
robin williams remembered

  I think it is believable that so many comedians are often depressed--I wonder, from a bit of personal experience that isn't even of the same depth, if they ARE so funny because they are desperate to find lightness where they see the dark. To find a way of escape. It's a coping mechanism that they share, getting their joy from actually making others genuinely laugh. I know I love making people laugh. To inspire others, to give them joy--that is an incredible gift to have for yourself as well as others.

  I spent today thinking over and over again how just the day before yesterday my family and I were watching RV, wherein Robin Williams plays the dad trying to reach his family once again after getting caught up in his job, and I thought then, "It would be so cool if someday I was able to meet Robin Williams and tell him how much I've enjoyed his movies since I was a kid. How they always made me laugh, and I was excited to see something new--I was always excited to see what joy he'd show me." And little did I know what would happen the next day. I just can't imagine what his family is going through.

  It's a sad time for all of us. But we'll all remember and love that crazy manic man that is impossible to forget.

  Robin Williams, we'll remember you. And you'll always be my Peter Pan.

robin williams death and remembrance, family

  ~E.C. Carmen


  1. I'm not ashamed to admit that... I cried.

    Like you, and pretty much everyone else in our generation, Robin Williams shaped my childhood. Jumanji. Hook. RV. Patch Adams. The voice of the Genie in Aladdin (I haven't been able to get "Friend Like Me" out of my head since the news came out). Etc. Laughter. Gut-busting laughter.

    You're right, there was a sadness underneath the smiles. He made everyone else laugh, but not himself. I think maybe that's why some people saw him as superficial in some ways, or as super-funny; he developed his sense of humor to over-compensate for his inner sadness. It's tragic. The world has lost a funny man, but it has also lost a broken one.

    Ironically, his death means his movies will see a new surge in popularity. People will watch them again... and he will make them laugh. I'm sure Robin would be happy to know that even if he made us cry, in the end, he also makes us laugh.

    1. Oh, amen to that. I keep wondering if people in heaven know what still goes on back on earth--if they see the effect they've had on people. There's always the argument between different Christians that we don't go to heaven immediately, we go to sleep---others say we immediately go to heaven. I don't know. But I hope he does understand all he has done for us. And I agree, his movies are going to get a new surge in popularity, like you said. Last night I was watching Hook. And there's many other movies that I want to watch now, that I haven't seen before. I wonder how many biographies are going to come out now.

    2. I don't know... sometimes I think that once we get to heaven, our past life is gone; but maybe not! I'm on the side of those who think we get there fast. I'm not a Soul Sleeper! ;)

      "Mrs. Doubtfire" is calling to me. I think my brother owns it. Maybe I'll ask him to bring it when he drops in for dinner tonight.

  2. Oh man, I LOVED Mrs. Doubtfire as a kid! Haven't seen it in years. ;)