I LOVE stand-up, at times that love has bordered on obsession...Anything for a laugh. I would sneak out of bed to catch The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and did the same thing for A&E's Evening at the Improv...I wasn't even double digits yet...I swear my love of laughter must have started in the womb.
Robin Williams is my all-time favourite., and as a young child, I thought I had been named after him....
He died yesterday, a suicide and I am simply sad.
Nobody talks about suicide.
And the mental illness, that in most circumstances, leads to such desperation is mostly glossed over with social media platitudes and a few awareness campaigns, that flutter by in between soup commercials....
That must change.
It is no secret that my family won the mental illness lottery....lucky ducks. My Mom, my Dad, my sweetheart, myself. Each of us has faced our own Everest, won, winning and lost.
I claim no expertise and only share from my heart.
While most of my life long experiences are too close, too personal to share.
I will risk the conversation.
My Mom was suicidal. So lost in illness and turmoil, death seemed the only reasonable relief from the constant torment for her. We saved her, from herself, and completely against her will, more times than I care to remember. Those experiences still haunt me and always will. Her, "Who the HELL let me live?!?! written on a whiteboard, while she was still intubated, devastated me. I knew at that moment that peace might never come in this world for her and it never did. She died a year later, in care, from a fall, the circumstances of which we will never fully know. That was a decade ago, but we had said our goodbyes years before that.
She was judged. We were judged. It was devastating.
Healing has come slowly.... Understanding and compassion have replace the anger and devastation.
Mom's actions were not about death, but a desperate desire for relief from the overwhelming sadness and madness that were her constant companions. It took years to understand that.
The conversations and struggle continue for our family....we experience more compassion and understanding than ever before...but still have moments of judgement, misunderstanding and isolation.
We need to talk about it. Education and understanding and support need to increase. The stigma needs to stop now.
" Broken minds can be healed just the way broken bones and broken hearts are healed. While God is at work making those repairs, the rest of us can help by being merciful, nonjudgmental, and kind."
-Jeffery R Holland
I think my love of laughter, is a compensating gift for many of the heartaches Heavenly Father knew I would pass through.
Thank you for all the laughter.... Rest well, Robin Williams