O Captain, My Captain: You will be missed

“Death is nature’s way of saying ‘Your table is ready.'” – Robin Williams.

They say you always remember where you were for certain events. “Where were you during 9/11?” “Where were you when Michael Jackson died?” We can now add another to that list: “Where were you when Robin Williams died?”

I know where I was and I’ll never forget it. I was lying in bed, watching my eighth consecutive episode of Community, when I refreshed Facebook. The first post was a picture of the great man with the caption “RIP Robin Williams”. I was taken aback, but the Internet has a habit of pulling death hoaxes (Jim Carrey and Jackie Chan have both been victims, the latter twice), so I remained cautious. I scrolled further down my feed and my hand clasped to my mouth in a shot. It was real. Robin Williams is dead.

Reports began to filter through on Twitter from the usual suspects, Variety, ABC, BBC etc. The outpouring from social media was incredible. Within minutes he was trending #1 in the world on Twitter and everyone was in shock. No one had a bad word to say about him, not least his daughter, Zelda, who put out this heartbreaking tribute to her father.

On 11th August 2014, the world had lost a genuinely funny, talented and downright fantastic person. At just 63 years old, Robin Williams committed suicide.

The man who seemingly had it all couldn’t cope. Despite a successful 40+ year career, Williams suffered from depression. Severe depression. Mental health is serious business but it is still an issue that people don’t like to talk about. It’s not an easy thing to admit to, but it’s so important. If you’re struggling, talk to someone. Anyone. If you think you know someone who may be depressed, talk to them. That may just be the kick-start they need to get help.

Visit this link for more help.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the USA is open 24/7 on 1-800-273-8255.

Or for UK readers, phone Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or go to your GP.

The master in of his most famous roles, Mrs Doubtfire

The master in of his most famous roles, Mrs Doubtfire

I now feel it’s important to acknowledge Robin Williams’ work a bit more. He was an absolute one of a kind who was brilliant in just about everything. His standup is almost unparalleled and his improvisation is second to none. From his first big TV break in Mork and Mindy to his last TV role in The Crazy Ones, Williams owned every role he played.

Good Will Hunting (which saw him win his only Oscar). Mrs Doubtfire. Aladdin. Good Morning Vietnam. Dead Poets Society. The list of films in which he shone is ridiculous. Unashamedly, I will always look fondly at his turns in the movies RV and Night at the Museum. Whilst not the best films he was ever in, these were the first features I really saw him in and he was just awesome.

His standup from his first specials in the 70s and 80s are still relevant and funny, with his more recent efforts being equally as hysterical. I took to YouTube to cheer myself up, and it so worked.

You inspired a generation and more, and you will live on forever in your films.

Thank you, Robin.