Well, I finally did it. I watched one of the inevitable montages that followed in the wake of the untimely death of Robin Williams.
I probably could have chosen a better one. But it was kind of accidental. I was watching a video of Billy Crystal’s tribute to the man at last night’s Emmy Awards. I didn’t know it was coming, although I really should have guessed.
I probably could have chosen a better day. As most people know, women tend to have particular stretches of time where they are more emotional than usual. Today is one of those days. I really shouldn’t have set myself up for that.
But bad choices aside, there it was and there I was and suddenly I was a ridiculous, sobbing mess over someone I’d never even met. After all, it is ridiculous, isn’t it? Once I’d taken a minute to compose myself, I asked myself just what the hell was going on here, why lots and lots of people were so incredibly saddened by his passing and why it hit me in particular as hard as it did.
And then I remembered how playful and joyful his work seemed to be, no matter what character he was playing or what story he was telling. There was a childlike innocence at the core of everything he did, which carried with it the certain, unflappable knowledge children seem to have, that people are good, that they are safe, and that everything was going to be okay.
The idea that someone who possessed that kind of childlike spirit could someday make the journey that ended in taking his own life—that’s what I’m mourning today.