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On the Death of Robin Williams (1951-2014)


 Mourning the Loss of the Comedic Legend

As we mourn the loss of the late, great Robin Williams, it’s time to get “real” about the significance of this tragic event. When you read the tweets and comments from fans and his fellow celebrities, what you continually hear is that we need to reach out and be more aware of those around us who are possibly suffering from depression. Well, the real truth is, we are all suffering from depression!!!


By the world’s standards, Robin Williams “had it all”. He had millions of adoring fans, the highest honors and awards, million dollar properties in some of the most beautiful spots in the world. So why did he kill himself? Because he was depressed? No, the reason why Robin Williams killed himself is there is nothing we can derive from this world that will bring us true peace and happiness. Not the adulation of millions. Not the thrills of bringing a live stand-up audience to their feet. Not the receipt of an Academy Award where your peers are saying “you are the best!” Not the 200 acre ranch/winery in beautiful Napa Valley. Not the breath-taking home in Tiburon that was nestled on the San Francisco Bay. None of things brought him true joy, true peace.


The truth is we are all depressed. Some mask it better than others. Some deal with it better than others. But the simple fact is we are depressed. And why not? We were so smart in telling God “we know better”. Then we went and separated ourselves from God, we ostracized ourselves from paradise – The Garden of Eden. If there was anything more depressing than that I don’t know what it would be – we were living in paradise!!! We took the sacred creation of God and we turned it upside with sin. Our world is a corrupt, broken planet because of our disobedience. Until the world realizes that fact they will continue to be depressed. Until we all realize that God is our only true source of happiness and peace we will all be depressed.


This is not to minimize the fact that there are real, clinical depressed people, or to demean the mental health profession, but again, we are all, to some extent, depressed. Some of us mask it better than others. The soccer mom who rushes to various practices, going to PTA meetings, picking-up supplies for school projects, then again rushing home to make sure dinner is on the table – masks her depression with busyness. The business professional who thinks that the next big promotion to director or vice-president will give them peace and contentment – masks their depression with career ambitions. Some of us numb ourselves to the depression – count the number of liquor stores in your neighborhood.


Am I correct in that it was not depression that killed Robin Williams? Perhaps it is true – perhaps his brain was just chemically unbalanced and he had no other choice – God will only know. But if we study other famous people, you find this is common. Whether a rock star, a movie star, billionaire, no one is exempt from depression. I often note, looking at a glamorous movie star, or a wealthy tycoon in a magazine how often they do not smile. I note that their demeanor and facial expression mirror those of everyday people. It is clear, they are about as happy and fulfilled as anyone. Why? Because, like in the case of Robin Williams, this world full of things, will not make us happy. Only when we turn to God do we have a chance of real happiness, real joy, real contentment.


Yes, we should turn to our love ones, family and friends and hug them, tell them that they are loved and have meaning and purpose. Yes, we should do all those things that mental health professionals tell us. But until we realize that until the day that we enter into full communion with God, and are in the presence of THE ALL MIGHTY ONE, THE GREAT I AM, we are on a temporary stage – a corrupt and unfulfilling one.


Jesus Christ, the true source of love, peace and happiness said:


“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.”


Until we turn to God, we will never have rest.


Andy Overett – President, Lighthouse Publishing