He laughed and said: ‘We scared you, didn’t we?’ Before I could answer, he planted a kiss on my forehead and resumed his hop, skip and dance away from me. I yelled, ‘Bye, Mork!’
The week started on a sad and tragic note. All of social media have reacted. The loss is enormous, immeasurable, the grief profound.
We lost our Peter Pan. The blue genie has vanished. Patch Adams and Mrs. Doubtfire are gone.
I loved Mork and miss his “nanu nanu.” The lovable alien has gone to the “Vast Immenseness” he used to talk to at the end of every episode of “Mork and Mindy.”
The police authorities that came to Robin Williams’ home that day reported an apparent suicide. His spokesperson confirmed the death to USA Today and added: “He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss.”
But why would this world-famous, irrepressible, hysterically funny man want to end it all?
He was immensely successful. And isn’t success what we all seek? For actors, isn’t an Oscar the highest testimony of one’s talent? For stand-up comedians, laughter from the audience is food for the soul. Did the world not laugh hard enough?
What else did he want, some people are asking? What did he need? Wasn’t his name in lights bright enough?
Was it too much? There’s a thought.
In the news the other night, a commentator remarked: “If there was anything good that has come out of this tragic event, it is that depression is now being openly discussed. Suddenly, people are talking about their own bouts with this sad condition and recognizing it for what it is, a serious mental illness.”
I wonder if we have friends who pretend that all is right with their world and yet live in a dark dungeon imprisoned by the monsters of fear and despair. Do we know anyone today who sees no way out, and no hope of escape? How can we help?
Someone once wrote that just because a person looks happy, it does not necessarily mean he/she is: “The one with the widest smile may be the one in the deepest pain.” We must look beyond the smile.
A video recently made by a victim of depression has gone viral. Among other things, the young man explains: “Depression does not discriminate. It is more than not being happy. You can’t bring yourself to be happy. You can’t even move. You want to have fun but the body does not allow you. You are not feeling that well but you don’t know what will make you feel better. People start telling you what to feel. Words just get louder and you feel like you are drowning.”
The video is a wake-up call. It brings home one message: Depression is real. It is frightening. Its victims need to know they are not alone, that there is someone out there who wants to help make them feel better.
Constant sense of despair
What is clinical or major depression? It is a constant sense of hopelessness and despair that makes you unable to function. It is difficult to hold down a job. You lose interest in normal activities. Relationships have no meaning for you.
Women are twice as likely to go into depression than men. It has something to do with the rush and overflow of hormones, especially during pregnancy. After childbirth, the “baby blues” can actually turn into full-blown depression. Women suffer from stress at home, trying to balance family and career.
But it is easier for us to talk about it. We have best friends, confidantes, bosom buddies who will listen. On the other hand, men are least likely to seek help. Must be a macho thing. This needs to change.
What triggers depression?
Grief can become an all-consuming and destructive emotion. We grieve over the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or a divorce. Instead of moving on, we have a tendency to wallow. Danger!
Moving away from your home, retirement or the trauma of a dire medical diagnosis can cause us to lose heart.
The key is to seek help. You must tell someone. Talk to your spouse, your BFF, your doctor, teachers or your pastor.
Look up! Pray!
We may never really know what made the funniest man on earth give up on himself. We pray he has found peace.
The world will always remember Robin Williams for his brilliant wit, his unscripted repartee, the wisdom of his words and his quick, warm smile.
Thank you for the laughter, Mr. Williams. You made life happier for millions. Sorry we couldn’t do the same for you.
My one quick memory of Mork: One night in 1990, I was waiting for a ride home outside the lobby of the Dag Hammarskjold Towers on 2nd and 47th in Manhattan. Suddenly I heard the sound of laughter. A group of rowdy young people was headed in my direction. Someone was traipsing ahead of them. I instinctively moved back and took shelter in the doorway.
I saw this pied piper dressed in jeans and a big red sweater literally skipping in my direction. He stopped in front of me. I immediately recognized him.
He laughed and said: “We scared you, didn’t we?” Before I could answer, he planted a kiss on my forehead and resumed his hop, skip and dance away from me.
Stunned and thrilled, I yelled “Bye, Mork!”
The doorman came out to check on the commotion. When he saw me still dumbfounded, he had a good laugh and teased: “Aha, Ms Razon, I’ll bet you will never forget that kiss.”
He was right. I never have.