Anguish now gone for Robin Williams

Tuesday , August 12, 2014 - 2:39 PM



All of us have receptors in our brain. They help us perceive the goodness and beauty of creation, for example. We owe them the joy we feel and the reverence we experience. Sometimes, however, they switch off. Most of us find ways to turn them back on. We take a walk along the ocean, we go out and garden, we listen to music or read scripture. Soon, our receptors switch back on, but what if they didn't? We might experience some panic at first, but if the breakers continue to fail and the house remains dark, we can enter into deep depression. All the beauty and the goodness disappear. There's not even a snakeskin of joy to be seen. In the end, even eternity can be taken from the mind. It's a kind of crucifixion. Angels can surround your cross, but to you they are not there. Depression is an iron veil, no parting, no movement. The heavens, we are told, can be like brass.

Some people want to blame this on sin, perhaps. Otherwise it is inexplicable. All tragedy, however, is inexplicable on some level. We have to move beyond the comfort of blame because it is fundamentally dishonest. We are just putting distance between ourselves and something we don't understand. We have to see deep depression as an illness--at times a fatal illness. Whatever part it plays in the life of an individual--holy people and comedians spend a lot of time in that dark ravine--it has to be seen for what it is. Something has gone wrong and unless it can be fixed, or somehow rewired, death may ensue. I wouldn't want anyone to say that a soul who succumbs to this or any other illness has no hope of a glorious resurrection.  Don't say that about Robin Williams. Don't even think it.

I trust that freed from illness, Robin's receptors went back on, that the goodness, the joy and the beauty rushed back into his soul and all the anguish went away. Throughout his life, Robin Williams was himself a wonderful weapon formed against depression. In the end, I believe he will win out.

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Douglas Donaldson


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