|Robin Williams: 1951-2014 (Publicity photos)|
But I will remember a comic and acting genius who gifted us for decades with laughter, tears.
- Robin Williams made a choice, certainly driven by desperation resulting from his struggle with depression. He also had been seeking help for it and for his struggle with addiction. He knew there were other options available to him but he chose to ignore them.
- Ultimately, suicide is a supreme act of selfishness, although some have tried to paint it as selfless, or as solely disease=driven. The point at which the final decision is made, the individual is consumed by his or her own pain and wants it to stop, consequences be damned. That is the selfishness to which I referred, because the consequences will be very real to the survivors. Williams had to know how devastating his suicide would be to his wife and children, yet he did it anyway. Here’s the kicker, though. He probably rationalized that it would be OK, because they would not have to watch him suffer over the course of the rest of his life, say for another 10 or 15 or 20 years. Instead, for the rest of their lives, his wife and children will be haunted by the specter of “Was there something more I could have done?”
- Suicide is an act of cowardice. I say that without equivocation. There are two choices: The easy way out, and the way that will test you and help you to grow. The test requires effort, perseverance and fortitude, not to mention selflessness, which involves loving others enough to place their needs ahead of your own. Those are all elements of courage. They also distinguish suicide, for example, from the desperate act of self-sacrifice soldiers have displayed from time to time on the battlefield, throwing themselves upon a grenade to shield their companions, for example.
“If you feel you are in a crisis, whether or not you are thinking about killing yourself, please call the Lifeline. People have called us for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness.” — The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.