In one way or another, I think we were all affected by the news of Robin Williams’ death earlier this week. Whether you grew up watching movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji, are a lover of his comedy, or perhaps you know all too well the feeling of someone who has ended their own life or struggles with mental illness. The loss of Robin Williams is so much more than losing someone of great talent, it is a reminder of the reality that is depression and suicide.
Unfortunately, the word ‘suicide’ hits a little too close to home for me. A couple of years ago, I had a family member who had been struggling with addiction for years end his own life. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when my dad called to tell me what had happened. I was in shock and disbelief and didn’t know how to process what I just heard. I remember hearing my dad crying on the phone, barely able to get the words out himself as he told me. I felt confused and scared.
Even today it is hard to process all of the thoughts and unanswered questions as to why someone would choose to end their own life. It absolutely breaks my heart to know that there are so many people in this world, through whatever circumstances they are going through, feel that ending their own life is a better option than continuing to live. I place no judgement on these people whatsoever, it just truly makes me sad. It makes me want to be a better friend, sister, daughter, wife. It makes me want to know people more deeply and to let others know that there is at least one person who loves them and thinks their life is worth living.
Shauna Niequist shared this article on her Facebook page written by a brave woman who openly shared her battle with depression and suicidal thoughts. I thought it was a great read and helped me to see clearer the view point of someone who struggles with depression.
It’s hard to imagine that someone like Robin Williams who brought so many laughs to people could be struggling with depression. My guess is there are more people than we even realize who appear to be happy on the outside, but are hurting on the inside. If you are feeling depressed, please talk to someone! You are loved so much more than you know! And for those of us who aren’t dealing with depression, remember to always be kind, offer our support, and seek to understand what others are feeling.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39