Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Death of a comedian

Most times, when I hear of a celebrity death, I feel a vague sort of sadness. A little sorrow at a wasted life if it's got something to do with drugs. It's sort of a passing emotion - like you'd feel for an innocent stranger as you pass a fatal car accident - and I don't dwell on it.

Until Johnny Carson died. That day I cried...the actual boohoo sobbing kind of cry, not merely weeping. I cried every time I saw a tribute to him, for weeks afterward. I didn't know him personally any more than I knew Brittany Murphy or Heath Ledger, but Johnny was something else. I cried as if he'd been my own family.

Yesterday, hearing about the death of Robin Williams, I didn't want to believe it was true. I'll admit that my first thought was, "Probably a cocaine overdose," because I'd read over the last 20-some-odd years about his struggles and relapses with drugs. I'd never really read much about his depression.
And I cried. Like with Johnny Carson. Like Robin had been a favored uncle in my life. 
I always thought he had very kind, very sad eyes, even in the midst of manic humor.

When I read all the hundreds of beautiful, well-written posts and tributes and remembrances, I tear up again.
I love that there are so many people posting hot-line numbers to help others who are depressed and/or suicidal. 

I don't have anything to add except that depression is a sneaky, stealthy bastard. It comes for you in the day or the night, for no reason at all sometimes, and often is harder to treat than cancer. 
Be aware, for yourself and of your friends, so that maybe you can reach out for a helping hand or offer one to someone else.

**UPDATE for no real reason: I just remembered the one other celebrity death which made me truly cry and filled me with sorrow and vengeance - Phil Hartman. Man, I loved the hell out of that guy.

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