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Robin Williams: The Man, The Comic, The Entertainer

Today's Sumptuous Saturday is going to be on Tuesday, because I need to post this as quickly as I can, just to make sure that I get it out there, to air out my thoughts and feelings. Lord knows I'm not the only one.

Yesterday, we all found ourselves with our jaws collectively dropping to the ground like a ton of bricks as news broke of Robin Williams' death: an apparent suicide.

Esquire
What? Just... what? WHY?

Robin Williams was a beacon of joviality throughout my childhood and well into my adulthood, all the way until the very moment that my Facebook feed was inundated with reports that he was gone. I imagine that he'll still be that flagpost for me for many years to come.

At first, I thought it was a hoax. There are so many celebrity death hoaxes throughout the year (Why is that even a thing? I mean, what a bizarre, horrible rumor to start. Humans are terrible monsters.) that I always first assume that any reports are fake.

But no. This one was not fake. It was unbelievably real, and it has affected me more than I'm capable of expressing and understanding at the moment.

I have never cried upon hearing that a celebrity has died... until today. Yes, I have been upset, and I have mourned the loss of some truly great talents, but I have never had to excuse myself to hide away in the bathroom for a moment at work just to allow myself to cry from the shock caused by the death of someone I did not know.

And that's just it: I didn't know him. I only met him once while I lived in New York, and even then our meeting was brief and perfunctory.

But there was something there... something amazing about this man... this Robin Williams... that made us laugh, cry, think, express, communicate... 

There was just something...

The first time I encountered Mr. Williams was through the old television show, Mork & Mindy. It was a silly show about an alien named Mork (Robin Williams) who had come to Earth to study its inhabitants. He befriended Mindy (Pam Dawber), an incredibly accepting woman who allowed him to room with her during his stay on our planet, and they experienced many an adventure together, all of which was shared with viewers across the country and the world.

As a comedian, he could have taken the easy way out from there and done fluff pieces for the rest of his life, but Robin had grander ideas in mind. Taking on beasts of projects like Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams proved that not only was he funny, but he was also an incredibly deep individual capable of grabbing his audience by the proverbial balls and making us listen to what he had to say. This man wasn't just a comic. He was so, so much more.

As a child, I grew up watching his movies, but they weren't just films to me. They were life lessons - fables even - that taught me invaluable information that I still hold on to today. As strange as it sounds, he was a sort of father figure to me, guiding me toward the woman that I am today.

No one could have played Euphegenia Doubtfire with as much honesty and feeling as he did while still making us fall out of our chairs with laughter. All of his characters were like that. In my mind, there is no other Peter Banning, Genie, Armand Goldman, Alan Parrish, or Chris Nielsen, and I am so saddened that he will never make another unforgettable character for the world to enjoy.

But it's like a friend of mine wrote: [the] great thing is that he lives on in memory and through his films.

So let's remember him not for his death but for his legacy. Let's remember him as Peter Pan, Patch Adams, John Keating, Sean Maguire, and all of the other countless, brilliant performances that he blessed us with over the course of his long, fruitful career.

Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.

And thank you. Thank you so much.

Peace.
Stefanie.
Robin Williams: July 21st, 1951 - August 11th, 2014
VERY IMPORTANT POSTSCRIPT:  
If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please tell someone. 
Please, please, please talk about it. 
If you have no one to talk to, then please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

As someone who has been there, I know. 
There are no words to describe it, 
and you feel utterly helpless and worthless.

But please. Please, I beg of you, tell someone. Open up. Allow yourself to be helped. 
You can't even begin to imagine how gaping the hole is that you will leave behind.

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