Tag Archives: Death

Moving on or Spiraling Back?

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Moving on or Spiraling Back?

Today marks the first time I’ve been back in my grandma’s house since her death. It’s been well over a month since I’ve been there and the awkward is palpable now. Not only did I have to go with my dad, who is less than enthused about seeing any of his mom’s stuff, but it appears that all five siblings have a different idea about how to handle the distribution and sale of her remaining things.

I was surprised I was actually asked to go tonight. The method of madness so far (as far as I can tell) is that the grand kids are to have nothing to do with the situation anymore and I should rely on my dad to pick up anything that I want to remember Grandma by. Yet tonight he came home from work while I was still hanging out with my sister and asked me if I would like to go look at the pile of things people had already gone through. So I went.

Now I’m sitting at my house writing this in the hope that I will not break down and cry. It felt so weird to be in that house that I went around and took photos of anything and everything that I may even consider wanting. I told Dad I would send him the pictures and that if no one else claimed the items, I would like to know how much they cost so that I could buy them myself.

I’m not sure how many of you reading this have ever dealt with a death of this kind before; I knew right after the holiday was bad enough, but I never thought about how weird it would feel walking through that empty house. I’m not even sure what the right word is for it: scavenger? Creeper? Definitely not something good, I can tell you that much.

So while trying not to have a panic attack about being in this horribly weird situation, I tried to get as much done as quickly as possible. It took me a few minutes, and then I figured out the system. So, at least from my point of view, here’s the best piece of advice if you ever find yourself in a similar situation:

  1. At first, I wanted to cry over every set of brushes, every pair of shoes, etc. It was like a creepy museum of my grandmother’s things. Try not to let that feeling overwhelm you. God knows, I almost did.
  2. If given the chance to get something from a loved one’s house after their passing, pick the things that are most full of memories.

I’m pretty sure I picked some of the least expensive things in the entire house to take pictures of. Want to know why? They reminded me of my time with my grandparents. Until I spent some time looking around tonight, I never realized how much of Grandma’s “old life” (ie. pre-grandpa’s death) that she kept around when she moved. In her living room were the ceramic puppies that I remember staring at near their front window when I was a little kid. I was convinced that I could play with them, but everyone always said I’d hurt them.

When I walked into her kitchen, I found all of the fancy plates I had given her one year for Christmas. There were two with farm scenery and one really pretty, old piece with green and gold edging and white flowers in the middle. These were the first gifts I ever bought for her on my own.

As I ventured in her bedroom, I wasn’t attracted to the family heirloom quilts or the fancy furniture. Instead, on a tiny shelf above her window, there were some of Grandma’s little knick knacks. Sitting one on each end of the shelf were two clear glass puppies that I never even knew she owned. *photo* Why take a photo of these? Because I got one from my great grandma when she died years and years ago. I picked up another from an antique shop because I had found it all on my own. Adding to my collection with a puppy from my grandma would be that much more meaningful to me.

I thought I was done, so I went back into the living room and looked in the box of books someone had placed on the floor. Dad said everyone just wanted to give them to Goodwill. I decided to take a peek. See, one thing I always remembered about Grandma was that she loved to read. There was always a book sitting on the side table near her armchair in the living room, no matter what house I picture her in. As I got older, Grandma started sharing her books with my sister and I. She’d buy some from Goodwill or the Community Aid store; when she was done reading, she’d pass a Staples box of books on to us, with the idea that we return them to her or give them back to the store where she got them when we were done. I think Grandma actually is the person that I got my love of reading from. No one else in my family that I know of reads as much as her and I have done.

I didn’t think I’d actually find anything I wanted to keep in this box of books, but then I found a few. The first was a book with Amish stories in it; when Grandma first ended up in the hospital this past Spring, I took her some of my Amish novels. She commented that she’d never really read anything like them before but that she enjoyed them. For the next few months, I spent time going through my bookshelves and lending her every Amish book I had. I wonder whether someone got this one for her after that fact or if she had it hidden away and just forgot she’d ever read it. In any case, it’s mine now. The second book was the memoir of Dwight D. Eisenhower. (I hate history books by the way.) Why? Because for about three years I had this bookstore manager gig where I ran the bookstore at the Eisenhower National Historic Site. It was during that time that I learned my grandfather had helped to build fences and things with people who directly new Ike. There was a possibility my grandpa even helped Ike himself! After learning that fact all those years ago, I decided that Grandma might enjoy a book about the president and his farming pursuits. I remember her telling me she truly enjoyed reading it; what I find even more surprising is the fact that she kept that book all these years, even though she mostly continued to pass on the rest of her books to others year after year. I guess I’ll have to read that memoir now, whether I want to or not. Then I’ll find a perfect spot for it on the front of a bookshelf somewhere that I can always remember the story behind me owning it.

Just before we left, I realized there was one other gift I remember giving my grandma over the years. It was a set of decorative plates with moose and snowflakes all over them. There was a particularly cute bowl that had a moose holding it too. I think I remembered this gift because at the time, I wanted it for myself. I remember exactly where I bought it, that it was on sale at the time, and that Grandma had already told us she didn’t really want anything for Christmas. Too bad, she got these moose anyway! I found the set in her cupboard in the living room, just waiting for her to pull it out for the next holiday season. I guess she never had the chance to use them as decoration this year. What hit me even harder was what I found in the cabinet right beside the bowl.

At first glance, I thought I had found some of my cousin’s son’s reading books. I know the kid is addicted to reading and really good at it. But as I was getting ready to shut the door, I noticed that the book that lay on top looked awfully old and pretty familiar. I decided to leaf through them (mostly because I was being nosey). That’s when I realized where these books had come from. Back when my grandma and grandpa lived in their old home together, I used to spend hours and hours at their house. One of my favorite things to do was to go back to the bedroom and search the bookshelf for loads of books to read. They were all pretty tiny children’s books and ranged anywhere from Winnie the Pooh to a book set about the different Zodiac signs having their own little adventures.

I feel like I’m really overthinking this right now, but I’d just like to say that I started to tear up immediately. I never knew Grandma kept these books; I thought they were all sold in the auction when she moved. More than that, I found it significant that they were sitting all alone with only one other thing in that entire cabinet, the thing being the gift I had given her. My overreaching brain feels so comforted to know that she kept these things that were so important to me. Now I wonder if they were also that important to her. I also wonder: if they were important to her, what was the memory that they held? Was it the same one that I still have of taking books out and reading them to my grandparents or hiding in the back room and Grandma walking back to check that I was still okay back there?

I guess in the end, I’ll never know why Grandma kept those books. And maybe it doesn’t really matter. Surely my emotional side is just taking over a bit. It was pretty stressful, awkward, and weird to be in her home without her, let alone searching through her things like I was at some kind of estate sale or weird store. In any case, I think I’m going to hang on to the memories that I found today. Some of those things I haven’t thought about in years. Even better, some of them were the good times, when my grandparents were both alive, when I was much younger and more carefree and when I never knew how tough it would be to be an adult living with all this worry and responsibility.

So thank you Grandma. Whether you intended to leave those items in a place you knew I’d find them, or whether it was a coincidence that I came across those memories you kept, thank you. Today was rough and I still feel like crying, but knowing things that mean the world to me also meant the world to you makes me feel even closer to you now than I’ve been able to feel since you left.

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Goodbyes are the Hardest

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Goodbyes are the Hardest

There are three things in life Grandma taught me. Be strong, be stubborn, and above all else, do good. Before I could even remember, Grandma took care of me while my parents worked. She helped raise me for years. My favorite TV shows as a kid was The Price is Right because we would watch it together every single day. Even as I got older, Grandma’s house was a strong constant in my life. You’d find my family there every Sunday afternoon for at least an hour. I never really knew how strong Grandma was then, or how strong our family’s connection was. In fact, it wasn’t until 2007 that I saw her true strength for the first time. When Grandpa passed, Grandma, my cousin, and I ended up in a corner of the funeral home. Us younger girls were crying but Grandma came over and had us laughing in no time. She held our entire family together through the hardest part of her life.

As I grew older, I realized that Grandma showed strength all the time. How many women can say they cooked enough food to feed an army every Christmas? 20 pounds of potatoes, turkey, veggies, and all the fixings every year for as long as I can remember. Over the past few months, Grandma has also shared stories of her childhood with me. She hated some of the things she had to do as a girl. From outhouses to no heating, she weathered it all with her family. And though her favorite part of the Farm Show was the chickens, she always had to power through killing them and hauling other meats down from the attic with her own mom.

Grandma’s married name suited her well. Though she married into the name, the one thing every person in this family seems to have in common is how stubborn we all are. Grandpa was so stubborn that he used to drive Grandma crazy. It wasn’t until I married my own stubborn man that I realized just how stubborn Grandma herself had to be to survive almost 60 years by his side and enjoy it too.

Looking back, there were many times when “what Grandma said goes.” I realize now that she didn’t necessarily console use kids. Instead she always stuck to her beliefs and told us things we may not have always wanted to hear. Yet through her steadfast love, she helped teach me how to be a better person. Because whether her advice seemed great at the time, I can now say that Grandma never steered me wrong. She’d tell me to stop complaining all the time. Looking back, I realize it’s not because she thought life was easy or because she didn’t care. Instead, Grandma was telling me that she wanted me to be strong and that no matter what, every one of us had the strength to get through the day and be amazing people.

More than anything, Grandma shared love and kindness everywhere she went. The proof is in my family. How many women can say that their son would drop anything to help out someone else? And I just started to realize too that she passed the same onto her grandkids. One is the kindest, most selfless person I’ve ever met. Two of us are teachers as well. Grandma taught us all to be good.

When she moved out of her last house, she gave each of us a gift. Mine was a set of ceramic girls. On the front, each had part of a prayer written on her apron. I’ve wondered for years now if Grandma somehow knew how important prayer would become in my life. Even if she didn’t I know part of this family’s strong connection to the church came from her. She attended the same church for over 84 years, and though she didn’t often have anyone to go along with her, she stayed one of the most consistent members at Sunday services. Not only did her amazing voice encourage everyone around her to sing hymns louder and more confidently, but she made a huge difference with the Ladies’ Aid each year as well.

Grandma may have been a sister to many, a farmer’s wife, a tough woman, and an amazing cook, but at the end of the day my family is so amazing because she taught all four of us three important things: to be strong, to be stubborn, and through it all, to do good in any way we can. So in honor of her, we each need to try to laugh because we know she would hate for us to cry. And we need to carry on her legacy by being all she raised us to be.

Grandma, I will always carry you with me, but I’m happy that you’re home now. I’ll be looking for two cardinals in my life now because I know that you and Grandpa are back together, driving each other crazy in the best possible way.

Now things get sticky…

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I mean that literally… It’s starting to get hot outside very quickly, meaning it’s humid and sticky and we need to have one of those big, awesome thunderstorms that knock out the electricity and help me sleep at night. It doesn’t appear that will happen though. I even attempted to plow up the garden tonight, but the ground was so dry I only got about 1/4 inch down before I had to resort to a shovel rather than a rake or hoe. 

Though the garden isn’t done and it’s already May, many other things in my life have come to an end. My college career, my relationship with my grandfather, and the fact that I don’t say I love you to people outside of my family. (Yes, the last one sounds silly, but it’s true!)

I haven’t written in a while, so this might just seem like a huge update, but it’s important for me to get these things out of my head, at least for a while. 

I graduated from college on May. I have a Masters Degree now. And I’m not even going to use that knowledge next year at work… I was so excited, for no apparent reason. I keep trying to tell myself that a second degree is a huge accomplishment and that I didn’t necessarily want to teach Physics next year anyway, but when I compare that to my other options (Calculus or Statistics), playing around with labs and teaching kids about the real-world doesn’t seem quite so difficult. 

I’m skipping the second topic… I just realized that I’m not sure I’m ready to really talk about it. No one understands, so why bother trying to let that emotional mess out? 

As for the I love you statement, I have officially said it to my boyfriend. Which seems crazy since we’ve only been dating for about 4 months now, but this has been one of the best times of my life! And, as usual, when things are in my head, they just slip out. So one day, weeks ago, I accidentally said I love you as I was getting ready to leave my boyfriend’s place. I played it off like it was an accident, a misstep in my words, but I was starting to actually feel it. The only reason I didn’t admit it right off was because I didn’t want to scare him away. This man… he and I are so alike that it’s crazy. But we’re also just different enough that we learn new things from each other without driving ourselves crazy hanging out. It’s weird. All I know is that he has taught me what the difference is between abusive relationships and really cooperative and cohesive relationships. I never knew it before, that my ex mistreated me so badly, but I know it now. It’s funny; looking back, I don’t know how I could have missed all the ways he put me down and all of the mean things he said to me. I guess sometimes you don’t learn your life lesson until it’s basically too late to learn it in an easier way. 

My students have been amazing recently. While most teachers call their students their “kids”, mine are like brothers and sisters to me. I’m too young and it just seems creepy to call them my children! But I love them like children or younger siblings just the same. It’s come to the point where some of the kids can tell when I am having a bad day (not because I’m mean, but because I get quiet and withdraw from things) and they know when I need my space and when to ask me if I need to talk. They are truly one of the most amazing groups of children on this planet… (no, I haven’t met all kids in the world, but I’m telling you these kids are amazing!) 

The reason I bring them up is because they helped me get through a really hard time recently. I don’t remember which day it was exactly… probably sometime in April. I had come home from this awful day at work. My boss was moving on to a new job, my coworkers were starting to follow the boss out the door… it was just bad. I thought things honestly couldn’t get any worse (because they are practically my family and we are super close), but as soon as I stepped into the door of my house, I knew I was completely wrong.

What is that saying… when it rains it pours? Yeah, it definitely poured that day. I’m actually surprised that I don’t remember the date since it has had such a huge impact on my thoughts and feelings lately. Anyway, I sat down at the kitchen table to talk to my family about my day and to find support and love from them in any way that I could. Sure, I was being selfish. But when Dad said we needed to talk, I knew something was wrong. My nerves went on even higher alert than they already had been, and he started to talk.

My grandfather died the week before. A full week before. And no one ever told us. We found out through my dad’s family rather than my mom’s. It’s kind of pitiful really… how one group of people can hold so much hatred towards others. The decency that they have is… zero. Who puts my name in some guy’s obituary because I am a close relative but then never lets me know that he is dead in the first place? It’s nothing like walking into your workplace to have people approach you with condolences only to have no idea what they are talking about or how they know about any of this really messed up situation. But that’s what happened the next day.

Back to the kitchen for the moment though… you know what my reaction was? I just started bawling. I freaked my parents out, that’s for sure. They didn’t expect me to care. They thought I would just shrug my shoulders and move on with my life. But I can’t. I couldn’t… no, maybe I still can’t. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing about this right now, right? 

The thing is, my grandfather wasn’t old. He wasn’t sick. He didn’t have an accident. Nope. He killed himself. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, and I don’t know who found him. All I know is that he died by his own hands. And, unfortunately for those who think I should be really empathetic and considerate of him right now, it scared me more to know how he died than to simply know that he had died. 

One thing my family never really talks about to anyone is the past. We don’t discuss how we ended up this way, how it became the four of us against the world. And maybe that’s for a good reason. No one else really seems to understand. But here is the thing… I didn’t just up and decide to hate my grandparents one day. I didn’t choose to spread rumors or tell people that my cousins called me names to my classmates and put me down in any way they could. I choose to say so now simply because I know this is anonymous and I need to get it off my chest. I have kept my past inside for way too long, and this whole death thing has brought it right back to the surface after I have worked for so many years and so hard to bury it beneath everything else in my life. 

There’s one thing I know and it is this: I know I’m not being much of a Christian when I say this, but I am okay with the fact that my grandfather is dead. That is the selfish me thinking about the man who abused my family members, the one who broke into my house, and the one who made me scared to leave my house alone even when I was of an age where I could drive myself places. The non-selfish me is thinking that I am glad he is in a better place and maybe now all of his sins have gone away and he can find some sort of peace. 

Seriously though, I am the luckiest girl in the world to know that the abusive relationships which had started generations ago in that family were not carried on by my mother or my sibling. My mother is the strongest woman I know for being able to handle all of those things. And though many people think she is crazy or really in-tune with God, I can’t fault her for even the most annoying of her habits. The amount of work and determination she put in to make a new life for herself and her family is astonishing. Sometimes I wonder what she feels about the entire situation, if she still thinks about her family like I do sometimes. Especially at times like these, I wonder how she doesn’t break down and cry or jump for joy.

How would you handle it if the man who beat you for years of your life died? Would you feel joy or remorse or simply nothing at all? I cannot tell what my mom feels since she is so good at separating that part of her life from her actual life in today’s world with her family, but I sometimes wonder how she doesn’t feel like this great boulder of burden has been taken off of her back at this death.

Rereading this now, I think I am the most awful person on the face of the planet. I cannot believe that I wrote I have this selfish feeling of relief. While that is not the dominant feeling that I am having about this entire situation, even just an inkling of good vibes feels so wrong when they are about someone else’s death. But how would you feel if you knew someone you loved dearly and someone who put in so much effort to make you have the best life ever was hurt by someone so much, so constantly for so many years? Am I a really bad person or am I just having a moment? 

I really don’t know the answer… 

And now, as I think back on the time that I spent crying, I really am starting to realize that part of me was relieved because I didn’t have to worry about him coming up behind me in some store and grabbing me like he has done before. Maybe my relief isn’t for the fact that he is dead but that I am now safe and protected no matter where I go. Does that still make the feeling bad? But even more than that, I wonder if I wasn’t crying out of confusion and an overwhelming amount of differing emotions and stress that day. To be honest, I cannot even recall if I was crying about him specifically or if I was just so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop myself from crying.

In any case, I’m trying to get over this hurdle and am hoping that things go better from here on out. At least for a little while. Life cannot always be daisies and roses, but since it’s Spring, can we just pretend for a little while?

~Me

It’s Cold (but my heart is warm)!

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Today has been a much better day than yesterday was. I guess there are these things in life that make you realize just how important certain things in life truly are. 

As if being all overly emotional and disgusting around my friend wasn’t bad enough, I got home to find my mom crying on the living room couch. Her best friend died. So you know what happened? I sat. And I cried with her. Not just because my mom was sad but because I was sad too. I didn’t know the lady as well as my mom did, but I knew her enough to know that she meant a lot to my mom and she was a great person. I’ll never forget all the things that she did to liven up my childhood. She even helped to construct a local playground that kids are absolutely fascinated with. Let’s face it, I just wish I were still little enough to go there and play! 

But back to the topic at hand… today I decided my mom needed something extra special to make her happy. So I decided that I would make her a list of all the ways that she has influenced people from all walks of life and all ages. First, I asked my sister what Mom did to most influence her. Then I wrote down my own ideas. When I got to work, I asked students to do a self-assessment of my teaching abilities and to list one positive way that I had influenced them and one negative way (or criticism) that they had of my experience with them. 

I’d love to say my heart was in the right place. Unfortunately, my kids are still too young to realize how useful the truth and seriousness would have been on these evaluations; not just for my mom’s gift but for my knowledge as well. Instead of taking it seriously though, I got completely random answers that were sweet and to the point, but not detailed enough to make a list seem special enough for my mom. 

So for now I’ve ditched the idea. What do you do for a mom who has everything anyway? I mean, we don’t have EVERYTHING. We don’t live some rich, fancy life. But we do have each other, and just that realization changes our entire outlook on the rest of the world. Her friend might have passed away, but guess what? My mom woke up this morning feeling much less sad and much more proud to be a part of our family. 

If my mom is out there reading this (which I guarantee she is not), then I hope she knows how much she is loved. I hope she realizes how much of an influence she has been to me… to a lot of people. Without even trying it. Every heart that I touch has been touched because of her. Every characteristic that I possess has been carefully created and molded by my parents. She doesn’t think she’s as smart as me or as talented in many areas, but there is one thing I cannot do that my mom can: Love someone so unconditionally that the love influences every part of their lives whether they realize it or not. 

To my momma- I love you. 


Oh, and just so everyone is clear: My friend stuck by my side and today was an even better day because of what I felt and how I acted yesterday. Maybe, even though I’ve never read the Bible entirely and maybe, even though I don’t have all of the scriptures and sins, etc. memorized… maybe God and Christianity do have some really good points. Not that I was ever entirely doubting. But the more I live, the more I learn. To the point that I might actually be able to explain some facet of my religion to someone else someday! Not to try to convert them or anything, but to share my opinion in an educated, fair, and graceful manner. 

Anyway, back to my point: Maybe God does truly watch over me at every second of every day. I don’t like some of the things that I go through because of negative influences and tragic events. But maybe God actually helps walk me through those events so I can find the rainbows on the other side of the tunnel. Maybe by the time I’m old and gray, I will have learned lessons that only I can begin to fathom at this point. Regardless of whether I am right or someone of another religious belief is right; at least I have this to lean on now. At least I have this hope, this faith, and this firm belief that I am loved no matter where I am at. And maybe in that way, my parents and my sister are pieces of God and Heaven themselves. The Lord knows I couldn’t have found any better ones than the ones he chose for me. 

With Every Day there is Despair

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I never thought I would be writing a post like this, not the day after Christmas; maybe never at all. But things happen in life that God has planned for us that never really come up on our radar until the moment of impact. And that’s when it all changes…

Angels


I cannot stop thinking about one of my friends today, as they mourn the loss of their brother. I don’t know what this kind of loss feels like, this heart-wrenching, deep, awful pain that he must be feeling. I’ve lost people in my life, but never something like this.

On the night of Christmas, a young man passed away, and no one knew until they awoke the next morning to find him unresponsive in his bed. What a shame and a tragedy this must seem to those who found him lying there, to those who realized what it all meant. 

But even more the tragedy, this family does not deserve this pain. This life, this young man, he still had some living to do. God found it right at this time to take him back and use him for a greater purpose. And all we can hope is that things work out so that some day we see the importance of losing this loved one so young. 

I am going to sound like a bad person by saying this, but I’m truly glad that I did not know this lost soul. It’s hard enough for me to know his brother and to be so slapped in the face by the pure facts of it all. What it must be like for them to even begin to comprehend that their loved one is gone. With no explanation, no cause… all they are left with is the hole in their heart and the aftermath of it all. I pray that one day they will fill that hole with all of their memories of their son, their brother. I pray that things work out for them because that’s how God wants it to be. And no matter what, I am praying right now for them, that they may find the peace to understand why God needed a piece of their heart at this celebratory time of the year.

No one ever thinks that a death is going to occur in their family when it happens. A large majority of the deaths in this world are by accident or come as shocking news in some way. I pray, that whatever happened to this poor boy, his parents and family knew it was coming and were able to start preparing for this loss. And yet, as hard as I pray, I’m pretty sure this is not the case.


To all out there who have ever lost a loved one close to the holidays, on a holiday, or on any other day of any other year… I pray for you. I hope that you have found the peace and the love that you needed to understand why death is a necessary evil in this world. I pray that you are close enough to God that you understand why death is important and how your loved ones will go on living in your hearts and as angels in Heaven. If you do not believe in the same religion as me; well for you, I pray that whatever you believe or whatever you do not believe leads you to a life of happiness again. Because regardless of the circumstances, everyone deserves to be happy. 

~Me

The Most Important Lesson is Always the Last

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Robin Williams

I’m sure that people around the world have heard the news by now. Yesterday, this lovely man passed away. This post will be about him, but even if you did not appreciate his acting talents and comic relief, please continue to read. 


 

I’ve never really been the kind of person to have favorite actors, singers, bands, celebrities, and idols. I find it silly that these people who are doing jobs just like us are “prized” and treasured more than anyone else in the world. It seems to me that each one of us has a unique talent, and just because I am not creative and silly enough to be a comedian or actor, doesn’t mean that there’s nothing special about me. Until today, if you had asked me who my favorite actor was, I might reply any number of ways: Nicholas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ralph Waite to name a few. But recently, things have changed…

It’s sad that I realize this change today of all days. Why not yesterday or a year ago, I wonder. But the main point is that I have realized that my favorite actor is Robin Williams. And, unlike the ways that most people choose their favorites and their idols, I would reply with this name for reasons other than his acting career. Sure, without even realizing it, I grew up with Robin’s talent: from Genie in Aladdin, to acting in Flubber, Robin Williams was one of my most watched actors. Even in recent years, I have enjoyed his comedy abilities in movies like RV. The thing is, while this man had a big career, he had an even bigger heart and more brilliant mind. 

As news spread of Robin’s death, people continued to talk about him on social networking sites that I frequent. In the past twenty four hours, I’ve read a list of all of his acting performances, the awards that he has won, and read quite a few of his most famous and touching quotes. 

So what makes me wish that Robin were still with us today? Besides the fact that he was too young to die, I find it important to note that he had the right outlook on life. The advice that Williams spent his life instilling in young children and adults alike is reason enough to love him for the man that he was. Even better, he knew how to make every person smile in some way. 

I never even met this man, but I have to say that he has one of the biggest hearts that I have ever heard of. I suddenly feel the need to print a picture of him and hang it at my desk at work- not to be creepy, but for inspiration. If ever there was a person who I would like to learn something from, it would be Williams. 

And as the title of this post states, the most important lesson to be learned is always the last. While speculation has arisen about the cause of death in this incident, it seems that Robin committed suicide. This, unfortunately, is not a new subject to us, especially when it comes to the death of celebrities. But the thing is, even though Robin may have been depressed and may have had problems, he spoke out about things that could make a difference in a person’s life. He taught us how to care, laugh, take joy in life, and enjoy the company of others. At the end of the day, maybe the most important lesson that he ever taught us was this:

It is never too early to let people know what is going on inside of your head.

Maybe a higher power was working in this man’s life to take him away from us all so early; maybe there is a bigger plan for his numerous talents than any of us on Earth may realize. But regardless, it is never too early to talk. Whether Robin Williams did or did not have depression problems, whether he did or did not commit suicide, he has given us all the opportunity to sit back and think about our lives and the lives of others. Suicide and depression are real issues in a majority of people’s lives today. Even if Robin’s problems were unnoticed and unspoken in regards to his friends and loved ones, he has given us this opportunity to learn more about each other. If any of us are suffering from mental illness or are feeling alone in our lives, we need to realize that now is the time to speak up. Now is the time to stop being ashamed and afraid of the truth, now is the time to believe in ourselves and put the smiles back on our faces that Robin was able to instill in us all these years. 

I pray that we all learn something from this death. And while I hate to make a big deal out of a person’s passing, I am truly feeling for his family, friends, coworkers, and the world right now. Many other actors and celebrities have died before Williams- unfortunately many will also follow. I’m sorry that I haven’t taken the time to inspect their accomplishments like I am now doing for him. However, I too have learned that people are more than meets the eye and something can be learned from everyone on this planet. 

If you are still reading this, please take the time to pray for this horrible loss. Please also take the time to rethink the experiences that you have had recently. Be sure that no one you know is suffering from anxiety or depression right now. If they are, reach out to them in whatever way you possibly can. And if you are one of the people who fall into this category, seek help on your own, for you never know if it will come to you before it’s too late. 

In closing, I would like to say that God has gained another beautiful angel, and that Genie now is, truly, free. 

For more about Robin Williams’s life, simply search his name on Google and begin to read articles- they are abundant and ever-varying. To get you started, I will share my favorite post on Robin so far. 

Also, if you or anyone you know suffer from anxiety or depression, please contact Common Ground’s Suicide Prevention/Help Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

To all of you, God Bless.