My only sibling, Michael, took his life 10 years ago this January. As I've described in various posts on this blog over the years, his sudden death sucked the wind out of me--for a time. I healed, which doesn't preclude some moments or days of grief, especially around the anniversary of his death or his birthday. This year, I had just a couple of sad days in the middle of January. Otherwise, I have had a pretty good year.
But last night I saw the news. There were a few seconds between hearing the news that Robin Williams was dead to the mention of his suicide. My reaction went quickly from an "Aw shit!" to a pretty solid cry. Realizing that one of my favorite actors who was in my favorite movie (Good Will Hunting) succumbed to the pain that was dragging him down hurt me more than I realized it would.
Losing an artist you respect and admire is not quite the same as losing a loved one, but there is still a lot of grief, shock, and numbness. My heart goes out to all of us affected by Robin's death, but especially those who were closest to him.