A Letter to Robin Williams: I Was Close

We will never forget the light and joy Robin Williams brought into our lives through his work. This touching letter was written by one of our fans, the day after Robin passed away and she recently sent it to us wanting to share it with our community and the world. We miss you, Robin. 

Robin Williams

Dear Robin,

It's been 23 hours and I can't stop thinking about you. It doesn't help that the whole world is talking about you today. You've blown up Twitter. And Facebook. People are even putting your picture on Instagram. More people are chatting about Mork and Mindy than they did in the 80's. Even the President is talking about you, Robin. And he has wonderful things to say. Of course he does. Everyone is reminiscing about you. What a selfless man. What a genius. They're all replaying scenes from Dead Poets Society. You're dinner conversation.

I loved your work, but I refuse to talk about it. And I'm hoping you'd understand. You knew the world loved you. You knew you could make people laugh and then cry. With a single smirk, you'd have the crowd laughing again. You're a hit today. Now people are anxiously awaiting your yet unreleased films. But guess what? It doesn't seem to matter anymore because today you're not here.

I'm not sure exactly where you are, but I know you're not hanging out in Marin County. I know one thing. I know you're no longer laughing. I imagine you haven't really laughed in quite awhile now. I get that, Robin. I truly get it.

I'm sure you always had to be the life of the party. As the Motown hit goes, "People say I'm the life of the party cause I tell a joke or two. Although I might be laughing loud and hard, deep inside I'm blue." You must have been blue. Or black and blue. Broken. I hate that I get it but I totally get it. A lot of us get it. We got it. Good. And it sucks. Bad. Really bad.

But I'm hoping last night wasn't in vain, Robin. I know even like this you'll touch the world. You'll get people talking. Depression, bipolar, suicide won't be so taboo. I know through you there will be light shed. And hopefully cash spent. We won't have an issue with too few beds in hospitals. Mothers won't have to weep while their kids suffer. Together we will support mental health. Or lack there of.

Who knows? I know. Robin, I promise I know. Why? Because I know that feeling of wanting off. Wanting out. Wanting to vanish or hide so far away. I know how sometimes you can try to run from the pain but then it chases you. And sadly, it's faster. You may be suffocating. The feeling is toxic. Debilitating. And no matter what, you can't make it go away.

Robin, I've been in that dark place. I probably shouldn't be so presumptuous to say I get it, but I swear I do. I was close. Closer than I'd like to discuss. Honest. I was so close that I didn't care what came next. Make it go away. Make it go away. So close that I didn't care who cried. Didn't care who got hurt. It wasn't my problem if you missed me.

It was early spring. Passover for my Jewish friends following along. My life looked perfect. I was a tall, thin pretty girl with a newly minted MBA and a fantastically sexy new job. I had a boyfriend who loved me and a whole bunch of others who wanted to be with me too. Life was good. The day was sunny but the pain was real. The hurt was intense. It was visceral. And I didn’t know how to make it stop. I remember lying on the floor of my kitchen in cut offs and a white tank top searching with desperation through the cleaning supplies. I thought that perhaps if i drank the dishwasher soap, I’d find a way out.

What was i thinking?! I wasn’t. But I managed to swallow a few sips. As my belly started to ache, I realized I’d land up with little more than a squeaky clean gut! Upstairs I dragged. Into my bathroom, complete with radiant heated marble floors and whirlpool tub, and I grabbed all of my old medicine bottles. I wasn’t sure what I had or what would happen, but it was getting late and I was ready to say goodbye. Within minutes, this girl swallowed bottles of old pills. Bottles. (Irony here is that I despise medicine, hence why I had so much in my possession.) Everything from Paxil to Prozac, Lithium and Lamictal.

The swallowing was hard and fast and violent and that’s all I remember, because then I passed out on my perfect bed. My mind erased the memory of ambulances and fire trucks and police officers. Banging on doors and yelling for me to wake up. All that is gone too. Time has erased the visual of vomit and stomach pumps. I remember next to nothing about that evening, but I do remember my boyfriend holding me at the hospital and begging me to get up and dance. I recall getting off that sticky hospital bed and dancing like I’ve never danced before. With some amazing luck, the doctors took this as a sign that I was ok. Not sure what was wrong with that doctor, but I swear I’d kiss him with gratitude if i could find him him. With no follow up or reports written, they sent me home. It must have been the residual effects of the medicine, because when I woke up I was happy, peaceful, and whole.

While I can’t recall the details, I do remember that was the day I got lucky, Robin. I was given a second chance. Some days I yell at my now husband and scream at him for saving me. I get so angry that I have to deal with the dark days in life. But then there are days like today, Robin. It’s sunny. My favourite trees are in bloom, Robin. The sky is blue. The grass is greener. My kids are playing in the yard and having a blast, Robin. I’m hysterically crying, because I almost missed it. Robin, I almost missed all of this. And Lord knows that some days SUCK! They totally bite! But sometimes, Robin, we’re given the strength to push on.

Some days, weeks, months its not so easy. So sorry, Robin that you had one of those bad days. I wish I could bring you back. I can’t and I'm sorry. Please know that I’ll work tirelessly to make sure others are spared what we have felt. I’ll write. I’ll campaign. I’ll raise money. I’ll keep spreading your good word, Robin. Your passing will never be in vain. Promise.

With love and respect,

Laurin

*****

About the Author: Laurin is happiest reading, writing, running, cooking and dragging her family all over the world. She's lived in Buenos aires, Salamanca, la Jolla, Santa Barbara, St. Louis, Burlington, and most recently spent 14 years in Toronto. No matter where she roams, she'll always call NYC home. Keep an eye out for her first novel which portrays a woman living the good life with BP, unexpected pressure!