When Robin Williams left us earlier this week, it felt like being hit with a sucker punch to the gut. The man who could make millions of us laugh so hard that we cried exited stage right, but this time with no comic relief. Only tears. And the unanswerable “why?”
To use the word “irony” here seems hopelessly inadequate. That a soul so brilliant at bringing joy to others felt that he could not endure living one more day — unimaginable.
But maybe that’s the yin and yang of it. Maybe in order to be blessed with the kind of brilliance that illuminates everything it touches, that is so sensitive to everything it encounters, that takes the human psyche to another level entirely — perhaps one must pay the price by being cursed with an equally enormous, and sometimes unbearable, burden of too much fear, too much sorrow, too much sensitivity.
In the song “Vincent,” Don McClean’s tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, he writes,
“… And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant
For one as beautiful as you. “
Ah, Robin. If the world was too much for you, we can only hope that you have found a more peaceful place, perhaps among the most brilliant of nighttime stars. Good night, sweet prince.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman