The recent death of Robin Williams shocked and deeply saddened me, as it did millions of people around the world. Perhaps it is because I was so profoundly moved by his portrayal of John Keating in my favourite movie “Dead Poets Society”. Brilliant. Inspiring. The kind of teacher I aspire to be. I know that wasn’t him, it was his character, but from the comments I have seen online from those who knew him, he was also kind, thoughtful, and inspiring.
Perhaps I was particularly affected because of the way it happened. So sad. A childhood friend of mine also took his own life a few years ago, the same way. And when I saw something about it on social media, and it was confirmed, I “lost it”. Broke down. This was a wonderful, fun, kind soul who I had just gotten a sweet message from on Facebook not long before. Someone I had grown up with. Someone who still had many years of life left to live. Someone who had children. But someone who was lost. I found out later that he was bipolar and had stopped taking his medication several weeks before.
Perhaps I felt it so deeply too because on the same day that Robin Williams passed away, I saw on Facebook that another one of my childhood classmates had passed away. In his sleep. At age 40. How could this happen? It certainly reminds me that life is short. Sadly, often much too short.
We must remember to seize each day…