Growing up, my life was surrounded by death. I’ve mentioned before that I grew up a pastor’s kid. The first church my dad was a pastor in, was also the church the town mortician attended. This meant my dad officiated A LOT of funerals. In the four years we were at that church, I attended more funerals than most people will ever have opportunity to attend. Then, when I was in junior high and high school, I regularly went to play Taps at veteran funerals. (The perk of living in the middle of nowhere and being a trumpet player). All of these experiences had a bit of weird impact on how I deal with death. Mainly, funerals don’t freak me out, and death doesn’t terrify me. I will admit that I can tend to be a bit callous about death. It’s not intentional. I have a very dark sense of humor, and on occasion I have cracked jokes that are in terrible taste, sometimes relating to death/dead people. (Nothing beyond PG, but definitely in poor taste).
Most deaths don’t get much reaction from me. People live, people die, more people are born. It’s the circle of life…
The point is, death has been such a large part of my life, I tend to just accept it as something that happens. When people die, I feel sympathy for their friends and family members they leave behind, but I’m afraid that sometimes I don’t feel very much beyond this about the dead person…
And yes, I do realize how horrible that makes me seem.
So, I was surprised by how sad I felt when I heard that Robin Williams had committed suicide. I can count on one hand the amount of celebrities whose deaths have really made genuinely sad (Jim Henson, Charles Schultz, and Mr. Rogers, in case you’re wondering).
It would be very easy to sit here and judge him for selfishly giving into an “easy” out. It would be easy to be angry that he willingly gave up a future, when there are millions who wish they could live for just one more day.
It would be easy, but it wouldn’t be right or fair. I’m reminded of what Tolkien wrote, ““Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
I pray for those who are struggling with depression and who will witness this and think suicide might be their best plan. As someone who’s been down that road, I can honestly say life does get better.
My heart aches for his family. I grieve the laughs that will never be, and the talent that has been silenced.