Dear SOSL Survivor Support Community,
As I was watching the hours of news coverage about the loss of Robin Williams to suicide, I found myself reliving the struggles my dear husband had with severe depression and the difficult aftermath of his loss to suicide. I became increasingly sad and this prompted me to reach out to our community of survivors to offer comfort and to let you know we are thinking of you today.
Robin Williams brought laughter and joy to so many of us. He was truly a gift to the world and there are so many memories of his brilliant, creative work. I am grateful that a lot of the news coverage is about his life and they have not been focusing so much on how he died. So although I have had moments of sadness today, I have also had smiles and laughs! He was a truly good man.
Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, friends, and the people the world who loved him and his work dearly. He was bigger than life itself and in many ways he was like a funny, caring friend or an extended member of our family. So his loss is felt very deeply.
Mental illness is not a weakness or a character flaw. It is a disease, sometimes an awful disease that results in fatality. While it is more ‘socially acceptable’ to talk about heart disease or kidney failure, than depression or other mental illnesses, it is important that we recognize that just as the heart or kidneys can be diseased, so too can the brain.
Also, during this time, you may hear or read hurtful comments by others. Many people who haven’t been touched by suicide do not understand the crippling affects of depression or mental illnesses. They may not understand the compassion that a survivor of suicide loss needs and deserves. Where possible, we can seek to educate people about what suicide is, what it is not, and how it has affected our lives. Otherwise, we invite you to consider that people who do not understand suicide loss have a blessing; they do not know the pain that we know. We can choose to be grateful that they have not suffered as we have, and let their hurtful comments go.
The death of this beloved man might trigger memories of your own loss and the struggles your loved one had. If you are finding this to be a difficult time, please know that SOSL is here, and that our support groups and one-to-one support system is available to you.
If you are personally struggling, or if you are concerned about a family member or friend…please know that there is help, you are not alone. Do not keep silent. Reach out for yourself or loved one:
www.up2sd.org is a great website of resources, or
Call (888) 724-7240, 7/24 Access and Crisis Line
The world lost a good man yesterday.