It’s been two years since the world lost this comedic genius. He was loved by millions and there is a funny thing about it. All these people who mourned the loss of this great man, never knew him on a personal level. I am one of those people. Yet, he connected with so many, we all felt we lost someone close to us. We saw him as an uncle, a father, a brother, or maybe that neighbor that everyone just loved. I was crushed when I heard about his passing. You’re shocked and in disbelief. You just can’t accept it. You won’t believe it. The night he died was a night I will always remember. It holds a place in my heart to a man that could make your bad day into something better. It was one of those crazy random happenstances that made that night into more than just a random night of drinking and having fun.
The beginning of this story starts a week before the night he died. I was at work. I was talking among friends about a movie that I loved and I know if they watched it, they would love it too. I am talking about the movie, World’s Greatest Dad. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest you do.
When you think about the movie and the tragic loss of Robin Williams, it hits a deeper cord than just a movie. I yammered away about it, telling them they all need to watch it. “It’s on Netflix! Come over to my place. We’ll drink and watch it!” The day we planned on was, August 11th, 2014. It was a Monday. We all had the next day off. We talked about drinking and the movie and all the fun we were to have.
I had to work that day. I was doing my thing when my sister sent me a text saying that Robin Williams just died. I was shocked. I didn’t believe her. That man can’t be dead. He’s Robin Williams. But it was true. The man we didn’t know was dead, gone from our lives. It left a void in our lives. It’s a weird to think that a celebrity can touch so many people.
I texted my friends. I told them about the death and the eeriness of how we planned on watching a movie a week before his death, on the day he took his own life. It was a bittersweet night. We talked about him and commented on how he was a great comedian. We started the movie and we all toasted a drink to him.
Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”
He had his demons. He had his struggles but he still made us laugh. We watched a movie starring Robin Williams the night he died. It wasn’t planned. But I always look at it as a tribute to a brilliant man with a charisma so powerful, he touched millions with his humor. I still remember that night. We laughed, we joked, we enjoyed life. We watched a movie about death and loss. How people react to it and deal with losing someone close to them, even if they never really knew them.
Suicide is a horrible thing. While it ends their pain, it doesn’t end ours. It transfers to us. I will miss this man. He was a legend. He was a funny man who always brought a smile to my somber face. I will always remember the night we watched, World’s Greatest Dad. A night what was to be just a movie and drinking turned into a tribute.
I wish I was better at expressing things but I am not. Since I am poor with words, I will leave you with a quote from him….
“When in doubt, make a dick joke.”
That wasn’t so hard.