They were smiling at Ted, who hardly looked human at all anymore. In that brief flick of time, they looked like gods, young, wise, and golden. Ted did not look like a god. Ink ran down his cheeks in blue-black teardrops. The bridge of his nose was bleeding, and one eye glared disjointedly toward no place. Paper protruded through his teeth. He breathed in great white sniffles of air.
I had time to think: We have got it on. Now we have got it all the way on.
They fell on him.

I may never understand depression the way some people do…I see that little bit about Robin Williams where they compare his dying from depression (rather than “suicide”) to someone dying from cancer (instead of a pulmonary embolism) and, honestly, something about that must be escaping me because what that sounds like is a cheapening of Robin Williams’ free will.

Ironically, people seem to be removing Robin Williams from his suicide out of love for the man, but it seems misguided and comes out looking selfish.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s true that I wasn’t a huge Robin Williams fan, but I do enjoy his movies and respect his talent and ability; if I could have spoken with him, comforted him and prevented his suicide, I certainty would have.

However, what I will not do is imply that his state of depression is more responsible for his suicide than he is. Primarily, because I see that as something of a paradox; I hear people talk about conditions like depression as though these conditions exist outside of the person, as though they can assume responsibility in place of the person, but I don’t see it that way. Whether someone is temporarily ill or suffering a more long-term condition, I think it gives the person more dignity if we understand it as an aspect of the person, to believe that they are ill, rather than believing the illness is possessing them, rather than excusing them, rather than—with what incredible gall—to insist that they are not, in their state, who they really are, as though we are the keeper of their identity, as though we could know better than the person.

Perhaps it’s because depression has some treatments that we see it as something “other,” or perhaps it is a strange love that hopes too much of us imperfect beings, that hopes so much that it would deny a person’s actions or qualities if we ourselves dislike them. But, again, that seems selfish.

I think it’s far more dignifying to say “I loved Robin Williams. I can say I loved him, because I mean I accepted him, wholly. Robin Williams committed suicide, and though I wish it hadn’t happened, though I would have prevented it, I can accept his choice as one more aspect of a man with so many cherishable others.” And, if you can’t accept what he’s done, it stands to argue that you don’t love him as much as someone else who can, that, instead, you love a personally-glorified version of the imperfect (yet wonderful) man.



it’s nice to see so many people would rather pour ice water over their head than donate to a good cause.. really heartwarming :)

How about, instead of wastefully dumping ice water on someone’s head, we send ice water to some place in need AND we donate to a charity of our choice. Now that would be a challenge worth recognizing.