By now, we are all painfully aware of the tragic death of actor and comedian Robin Williams due to an apparent suicide. It also no secret now that Williams suffered greatly from depression over the years, which obviously became unbearable for the 63-year-old beloved comic genius. The reason for this piece has nothing to do with new details about his death, his comedy or his entire body of work, which was nothing short of brilliant. This piece is about the comment Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith made suggesting that Williams was a coward for taking his own life. Mr. Smith, please allow me to shed some light on why your comment is the very height of idiocy and ignorance.

I myself have suffered from bouts of depression for many years and unless you have been there, you cannot possibly understand what a deep, dark and scary place that is. I have been where Mr. Williams was when he made his decision, not once, but twice. The height of a depressive state means you are at the lowest point in your life and the pain and despair is so unbelievably overwhelming, you will do anything to put an end to that feeling.

You do think about your loved ones and you are keenly aware of the pain and suffering you will inflict on them by your actions, but in the long run, you believe it is not only the right thing for you to do, but the ONLY thing you can do and are left with no other choice. It is a feeling you would not wish on your worst enemy because you are at the very bottom and there is absolutely no light whatsoever anywhere in that tunnel.

I have been listening to opinions all day long about the path that Robin Williams took, but to hear the term 'coward' makes me sick to my stomach because only those who have been there, truly understand what Mr. Williams was dealing with. I am very sorry to say that I understand his actions completely and what must have been going through his mind.

There are many people in this world who are tortured souls, even though you would never guess that to look at them, let alone someone who appears to have it all as in the case of Mr. Williams, but they are among us, some closer than you think.

Anyone who talks of suicide should be taken very seriously, but the ones who appear quiet, distant and sad, while all the while telling you everything is great are the ones you should really pay attention to. What those people need Mr. Smith, is your compassion and understanding...not your ignorant judgements about something you appear to know nothing about. Please don't judge that which you know nothing of....please.

Mr. Smith, let me leave with something to think about.  Robin Williams once said something that far too many of us understand only all too well. He said, "I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end with people who make you feel all alone." Do you understand, Mr. Smith? I didn't think so.

Southwest Indiana Suicide Prevention Line


Owensboro Area Crisis Line


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


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