Oscar-winning comic actor Robin Williams tried the coping thing. Apparently, it didn’t work. Reports are that he committed suicide yesterday. My mother mentioned Williams’ death after she watched one of those morning shows where the hosts have a coffee mug Superglued to their hands. (Are they sponsored by Folger’s?)
“Robin Williams died.” That was it. She went back to sipping her own cup of coffee.
That left me to surmise the cause of death. And, sadly, I made the assumption that most of us make when a celebrity who isn’t particularly old dies. “He’d gone back to rehab recently,” I said.
“Yes.” Again, that was it. My endlessly chatty mother had gone tight-lipped. A first. No rambling Girl Guide speech about the evils of drugs, no judgment about fame and all the bad in liberal Hollywood, no wistful statement like, “He seemed like such a nice young man when he was Mork.”
She let the drugs assumption stand. My mother held back. Depression is still a hush-hush word.
And I know what she was thinking. Robin Williams had depression and killed himself. My son doesn’t need to hear that. Don’t put those thoughts back in his head.
Because if I suddenly want to revisit a childhood game, let it be a round of Follow the Leader with Robin Williams. The man and I were never united in some sort of Jonestown pact. I couldn’t even sit through a full episode of his last sitcom, the unfortunately named The Crazy Ones.
There is no connection.
Except in my mother’s mind.