robin williamsThe passing of comedian Robin Williams in the past couple of days is an undoubted tragedy.

That he did it by his own hand makes it even sadder.

He was a truly remarkable man who made us all laugh.

Sometimes, he made us laugh and think at the same time, a brilliant combination.

We’ve seen the movies and heard the quotes, but it’s the story of his friendship with Christopher Reeve says a lot about this brilliant and kind-hearted man.

They had been friends since they roomed together at the prestigious Julliard’s school of drama.

Then, just days after  Reeve had his tragic accident, he was lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by dark thoughts when a mad Russian doctor charged in to his room, wearing a gown and scrub hat, ranting about having to give Reeve a rectal exam.

Of course, it was Robin Williams doing what he did best.  Making someone smile when their circumstances made that seem impossible.  From that moment on, Reeve knew that he would be OK.

What a wonderful gift Williams gave the world, the ability to make people smile and feel OK.

I wish that I could have done that for him, to ease his burden and give him a reason to keep going.

I hope that I can do this for my own friends who are struggling with their own dark thoughts.

Perhaps not in the manic, one-of-a-kind way that Williams could, but in my own style.

If you have a friend or family member with depression or struggling with life, please don’t ignore them or hope that they will “snap out of it.”

Use your unique gifts to make their pain easier to bear.

Give them a reason to smile, be a listening ear, help them to access professional help, do something practical, do anything!

And to Robin, thanks for using your abilities to make the world a better place and to quote Hamlet, “may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, sweet prince.”

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