Robin Williams tragic death has greatly affected a lot of people the past few days including myself. A lot of us that are old enough can hardly remember life without a Robin Williams show or movie being a part of our lives. He has made us laugh and he has made us cry and now he has made us aware. Unfortunately I have had several people I knew very well or were just acquaintances with take their own life over the years and it leaves a feeling deep in the pit of your stomach that takes a while to go away. My first experience was with a patient in our dental office some 16 years ago. She had suffered the loss of her husband in a tragic house fire and could not escape the image in her mind of his lifeless body melted to the dryer. Then because of her own bad decisions made because of her grief the months and years after her husbands death her in-laws were trying to take custody of her little boy. She was extremely depressed and used to talk to me about it when she came in for dental visits. I would ask questions and try to encourage her but should I have done more? Because she was a patient I was stuck in a gray area of how much do I reach out. Weeks later her father called the office to cancel her upcoming appointments because she had taken her own life to escape the pain. She saw no end except through death. For weeks I struggled with if I had thrown the professionalism to the wind and reached out as Christ would have anyway could I have steered her towards what could have gotten her through, a relationship with a God who had already forgiven her for her bad choices and who held her husbands hand who was waiting for her. Could I have done more? Now her little boy had no parents. I then had two colleagues within two years whom were both former pastors and great men of God take their own lives. They poured out to everyone around them including me and I called upon them often for support when I was lost in a sea of paperwork, social work and beaten down emotionally from parenting/fostering children from poverty at a boarding school that was plagued by union wars, lawsuits and drama. Did I stop to see the pain in their eyes or see that they were just as drained and overwhelmed as I was? No, I was too busy, I didn't see it and neither did most others. Lack of sleep and constant threat of being sued made any small problems in these men's personal lives explode into full blown craziness. Later, another colleague took his own life as well because of depression and marital problems made worse by the crazy environment we all worked in. So while everyone else was busy they slipped away in their own ways. I have heard of countless others through friends and acquaintances and it blows my mind how much all these people were loved but they just could not cope with the stress and frustration and hurt that life sometimes brings. We cannot always stop people from taking their own life, we are accountable for ourselves, however we could maybe, just maybe if we just for a moment made sure everyone around us knew they mattered and that we too have suffered stress, frustration and loneliness and that we are there and that they are not alone. Our society has us all so busy sometimes we barely notice each other or way over use social media to the point we have no real contact with people anymore. The problem with social media is "usually" we all put our best moments and best pictures out there but no one sees the sad faces, the tears, the disappointments, the loneliness and depression that is very real to them. We all use social media, I mean really I am writing this on a blog, but I pray we all slow down and notice the new face sitting in the back row of our church or the tears in the eyes of the women behind you in line at the grocery store or the relative who just doesn't come around as much anymore. May we all be more aware and more in tune with each other and keep our eyes focused up. Everything in our lives and everything we do should be focused on how we can build the Kingdom for our Lord and help others to have the greatest experience possible on this journey called life. My heart goes out to Robin Williams' grieving family and close friends who I am sure are struggling with all the same questions we are.
Lots of love, Kimberley
|Thanks for all you gave us Robin Williams and may we all pay better attention to one another because of the loss of you and in honor of all you gave us while you were here.|