When I heard the Robin Williams had passed away, I felt three things.
First came shock. How could he die?
I felt like somehow I had just seen him alive and well, even though in reality that was only a screen. But, how can this man be dead? To me he was immortal, a comedy god! He was there every time I needed cheering up.
And he was also a great dramatic actor, and therein came the sadness.
He helped create movies which effected me deeply, even shaped who I am today, films like Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams… just to name a few. In these films he had been my guide and my mentor. I loved him.
Now came the confusion, the third layer of my reaction. How could I say I loved him? I have never met him. I have no idea what he was like in real life as a real person. Who was he really? Was he at all like the characters I loved so much?
I knew and loved a persona. A personality revealed through a collection of performances. But it was just that, performances. In all the times I saw him there, had I ever met the real man?
I can only guess at his inner life, his true thoughts and feelings. But I like to think that all his characters had a kernel of his personal truth.
But where does that leave me and the rest of you all who probably feel the same? I don’t know quite how to feel at his passing. It’s a tragedy. But, in a way, we will never have to say goodbye. This man really is immortal. His awesome legacy will be around for generations to come.
I never met him, but I will never forget him. And strangely, my kids and maybe even my grand-kids will still be able to say the same thing.
Thank you Robin Williams, for everything you gave.
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Apprentice Editor: Kathryn Muyskens/Editor: Renée Picard