When I was a little girl I was rollerblading with my friend down the street on a warm sunny day. Her father came and told me that I needed to come with him and go home as soon as possible. He drove me home and I quickly rushed up the walk to open the front door. Still to this day I remember walking in to find my Dad on his knees sobbing. My sweet and beautiful cousin had died as a result of suicide. Her death left many unanswered questions as well as sadness and grief that changed my family forever.  

Over the years, I have learned that depression is a silent suffering and disease. Like many of you, I found out via social media about the tremendous loss of Robin Williams and while I have another post coming today I felt God calling me to write about this important topic.

For most likely everyone reading this, Robin Williams was not someone we met yet he was someone we all felt we “knew”. He brought us smiles and laughter as a blue genie, Peter Pan yelling “bangarang” and many other roles that are pieces of our childhood never to be forgotten.

robin williams 2

While he brought laughter to the world he battled demons from within. I am at times ashamed to say that I have faced dark times myself. I’ve written about them (here), (here), and (here). Laying bare my insecurities yet always knowing that I am loved by my God, family and friends.

So many around us in our society do not have this love. They walk through life alone with nothing but the demons clinging to their backs. Because our society does not understand depression – we treat it as a stigma. We turn a blind eye in embarrassment, bury it in medications or even flat out ignore.

This silent suffering is everywhere. Let Robin Williams’ death ignite an educational awareness in our society.

When I began to feel the need on my heart to write this post I immediately reached out to my aunt who had lost her daughter almost 20 years ago. In no way would I want to hurt others (especially my family) with my writing and knew I needed to speak with her first. But you know what she said. She told me that she knew I would write it with grace and love. And told me that you never know if God is trying to reach someone through my writing. Today my Aunt who has been through so much in her life owns a children’s indoor inflatable center for families to safely spend time together. She also opened up a Christian counseling center to help others in need. She is the one with grace and love.

I think we should all take a note from her and from Robin Williams. Tomorrow (and hopefully further) say a kind word to someone in honor of him, my cousin and others lost. Those people may be residing in a darker place than you will ever know.

Don’t forget to tell others how much you love them.

Tonight before hanging up the phone my Aunt said, “I love you more than words can ever say.” To my cousin and Robin Williams – I love you. To my readers, I love you. You are not alone.

This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Mommy Tori

12 Responses

  1. Tina Kahlig

    What a well written tribute to Robin and others who have family members who suffer from depression and have lost loved ones too soon.
    Love you,

  2. Rudy Arispe

    Omg Tori! I am so sorry to hear about the loss if your cousin. I can’t even imagine the pain that your aunt has suffered.

  3. Morena

    I lost a friend to suicide in the 10th grade. It still haunts me, because I had no idea he was in so much pain. My senior year, a different friend showed me his arms, and he had been cutting himself. I asked why, and he said, “I don’t know.” I wrote an anonymous letter to the school counselor, and gave it to my favorite teacher. I was afarid my friend would be mad at me for sharing his secret, but I couldn’t risk losing him. In the end, he received the help he needed and was happy about it. Never be afraid to speak up. I hope we can remove the stigma from depression and help everyone realize that there is no shame in asking for help.

    • tori@torijohnsonpr.com

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so glad you wrote that letter. You never know…

  4. Jerry Clayworth

    Very moving entry, Tori. Daily tasks and focuses that we attribute to “life”, often take our attention away from actual LIFE. <3

  5. Michelle

    Gosh Tori, I’m so sorry to hear that depression took someone away from your family. I can’t imagine what you all go through. This is such an eye opening topic.

    • tori@torijohnsonpr.com

      I’m glad that his death has been used to at least get the conversation going and will hopefully educate people.

  6. Iris

    Very touching Tori. I’m sorry about your cousin! Thank you for doing what you felt in your heart God wanted you to do. So many people out there just want someone to talk to or just looking for a smile coming from someone. We all should be more considerate of others, & ask questions when we feel something isn’t right! I know your story will reach out to someone in need right now!! GB!!

    • tori@torijohnsonpr.com

      Thank you for your sweet comment! Hugs!

  7. stacy

    I love you lady, forever and a day. Thanks for sharing your story and I have no doubt it will tech out and touch someone who needs it.


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