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The Realness of Robin Williams

The theme of my life these days seems to be realness. Openness. Honesty. Stepping out of hiding.

I had something else in mind to write this week and then I heard the news of Robin Williams’ death.

To be honest, I’ve never been hit so hard by a celebrity’s death and I find myself grieving for him more than I would have expected. I have cried many tears since I heard the news Monday night. The gifts he brought to this world were immense and his work touched countless lives, including mine.

His work has touched my life both personally and professionally. What Dreams May Come fundamentally changed how I saw the world the very first time I watched it. Patch Adams made me a better person and a better counselor. His work taught me to find and look for humor even in the most difficult times of life.

The method of his leaving this world isn’t important to me. It doesn’t matter to me whether he died by suicide or not. His death is not his legacy. His life is his legacy. I mourn for him and for the gifts that he might have yet brought to our world, for the 40 or 50 years of laughter and love and inspiration he might have shared with us.

And I am grateful for the 63 years he was here and for all he gave while he was.

64cae227b37080583583419143854190As best I can tell, as I didn’t know him personally, he was a man who threw himself into life with passion and fire – the highs and the lows. He was, to me, a wonderful example of realness, of openness, and of honesty. He talked openly about his struggles with depression and/or bipolar disorder. He struggled and yet, in my opinion, he still showed up to life and gave it his all until his time was done.

That’s really all we can do – show up and give it our all.

The best tribute that I could give to Robin Williams is to show up and give my life my all. The highs and lows and every place in between. To look for humor and laughter and to give my all until my time here is done.

So, today I am looking at my life and asking, “Where am I holding back?” And I am showing up.

Thank you, Robin, for showing up for 63 wonderful years. You are loved and you are missed.

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