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.
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