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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What We Should Take Away From the Reaction to Robin Williams' Death

On Monday, Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide and people all around the world wept.

Twitters and Instagrams filled up with pictures and quotes and people expressing their sadness over the loss of a man who brought so much laughter into so many people's lives.  But they also filled up with something else.

They filled up with messages of hope.

Messages of people sharing their own stories of managing depression and choosing to live.  Messages of people urging others to get help if they felt like taking their own life, promising that someone would miss them and the world wouldn't be better without them, no matter how strongly they felt that way.  "Your life matters" started trending on twitter within an hour of the story breaking.

Why do we wait for something so tragic to happen to tell people their life matters?

Yes, when depression and suicide are brought to light by a high profile tragedy, it's a great opportunity to tell people they're not alone and that their life matters.  But so is a Tuesday afternoon.

When the ugliness of depression rears it's head in such a public way, it's easy to respond.  It's easy to post something on twitter and tell people you love them and they are wanted, because you know that everyone else is also sitting in the wake of a sad event.

But is that maybe waiting a little too long?

Do not wait for death to show its face before you choose to celebrate life. 

Don't wait for tragedy to motivate you into telling people you love them and that they matter.  Tell them every chance you get.  If you have a story that could help others, share it now.  Celebrate the lives of those around you.  Celebrate just how wonderful it is to be alive.

Don't wait for death.  Celebrate life now.


  1. always saddens me when people don't take action until something massive happens such as death. Beautiful post chica! xo

  2. Yes. I pray that this public suicide continues to raise awareness and bring hope. Such a horrible loss.

  3. Beautifully said. Thank you for writing this. I wanted to say something similar on my blog, but I couldn't quite put it into words like I wanted to. I think you did an excellent job.

  4. I love this and the point you made-- I've felt really sad about his death, but I have to admit in the back of my mind I've wondered how long until everyone moves on and goes back to seemingly not caring about important issues?

  5. its so horrible that something like this had to wake people up, but it is so true. hopefully people stay aware and don't forget about the real issue, like Carly said.

  6. So well said and true!!! Why do we wait for something like this?!

  7. YES YES YES! This is what I was trying to say today but I came across like an angry b-word and you said it so eloquently. Perfect!

  8. Oh my gosh Chelsea, seriously, chills from this post. This isn't only applicable to those suffering, but to those who are ambivalent to life itself. So well written, so well said.

  9. Wow this is empowering!!! :)

  10. I read a few days ago that the same day Robin Williams died, 108 other people had committed suicide in this country. We really need to de-stigmatize depression and mental illness so that it becomes okay for people to reach out when they need help, and to reach out when they think others need help.


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