Last night, I found out that one of the comedians that highlighted my youth committed suicide. Robin Williams, the voice of the Genie in Aladdin, the main lead in Mrs. Doubtfire, which Ed and I watched together, has died via asphyxiation in his Tiburon home. I’m deeply saddened by this news, and particularly because his death was of his own means. It’s another life taken by suicide, by a deep depression that failed to be fully recognized and treated by our society.
I actually met Robin Williams in Japantown in San Francisco during my middle school days. I was with a few of my friends during a school holiday, and we saw him at a store in the shopping center. My friend’s little sister was so excited and asked for his autograph, and he seemed genuinely happy and eager to give his autograph and chat with us even though he was in the company of who I think was his mother. A lot of celebrities would not have been this warm and kind.
I wonder what Ed would have thought to have heard that Robin Williams committed suicide. I’m sure he would have been shocked, but unfortunately, he isn’t here today to hear the news. Instead, Robin Williams is joining him in heaven somewhere up there. I hope he is cracking jokes and making my brother laugh now. Maybe they are even cracking jokes about the fact that Ed took his own life before Robin did, as dark as that may sound.