This post also marks my own coming out. I had not shared my own struggle with suicide and depression, until I posted this piece. Much has changed in the past several years. I am well. I am strong. But Robin Williams is a reminder that many of us stumble. We feel alone; we feel sad and hopeless; we don’t know what to do. Robin Williams is a reminder that endings like his leave only pain and lost opportunities. I am here, as a reminder that things do change. We do find strength, and joy, and reasons to live. If you are struggling, please reach out.
Video – August marks the second anniversary of the incredibly talented actor Robin William’s tragic death, and the world hasn’t stopped remembering his long-lasting legacy.
There are two themes that ring out clearly from the hundreds — actually thousands — of stories I have read this month: first, that we all deeply desire to be known and loved by our Creator God, and second, that we all desperately need to know that the people we are closest to, our families and friends, love us just because we breathe. Pretty simple, right?
‘Love is the answer’
From the October 8, 2012 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
The idea of belonging has always had significance in my life. My deepest desire is to see everyone around me as family, and I think that everyone deserves a sense of belonging and love.
My focus on belonging deepened in college when I learned my younger sister had committed suicide. Her passing was startling, but I had been aware of her pain and also struggled with the idea of killing myself. Suicide suggested itself as a way to end the misery I was living and to lift the burden I felt I was to others. I was often taunted and teased in elementary school, even by adults, so I learned to minimize the pain I suffered by reading people and figuring out what they wanted from me. I reasoned that if I was able to give people what they wanted (within limits), they would like me and treat me better. Sometimes other students would copy my tests or otherwise use me, but I didn’t care. Any positive attention, even fake, was accepted.
Several months after my sister’s passing, I found myself wondering why she took such drastic action [suicide]. At one point, I was standing in a crowd when it hit me: She did not feel loved. At that moment a love for every person around me fell over me. Everyone deserved love. The idea that I must love all without prejudice, no matter how much I might struggle with the suggestion to act otherwise, became a command.
This unconditional love was a manifestation of God, Love, translatable to all of my interactions with others. I can always find the way to love others (myself included!) meekly, without fear of suffering. Love was, and is, always the answer.