Robin William's greatest contribution may be helping people who are the least trained — the closest of family and friends — learn to help loved ones who are anxious, depressed or struggling with the impact of trauma.
“The adoration of global fans does as much to bring relief from depression as the finest wine meticulously spilled upon a closed container.”
by SETH EISENBERG
I’m expecting to see all kinds of signs that Robin Williams is still with us.
Rainbows inverted into smiley faces.
Clouds delicately twisted into animals.
Waves that actually wave.
Lightning ready to strike havoc that dissolves into rain descending in the melody of laughter and love.
Sunsets that reveal Robin Williams’ ever present wit, passion and genius.
I can imagine many awaited his arrival hoping for a personal audience and more than a few ready with pitches to serve as the agent to take the world-famous entertainer’s representation to another dimension.
“You’ll never get cancelled with me,” one yammers from behind a veiled curtain.
Over and over again.
I also imagine fellow-comic John Belushi among the first to greet Robin Williams.
“Thirty years is a long time to make someone wait, Robin. Take off your shoes, relax, just take care of you for a bit,” I hear him saying as Robin peers down, sees he has neither feet nor shoes, before the two legendary comics share a decade or so of thunderous laughter and tears.
Perhaps we will soon see those tears gently falling upon fields and foliage that seem to smile at us.
Tears of Robin Williams, John Belushi and others too who fought demons within by bringing light, love and joy to millions whose own serenity lived in distant gardens they could never reach.
Robin Williams made extraordinary contributions to generations of audiences. Tragically, comics committing suicide is less extraordinary. Robin Williams is not the first funnyman who devoted his life to bringing cheer, comfort and charity to countless others will struggling with the darkest demons of depression.
The adoration of global fans does as much to bring relief from depression as the finest wine meticulously spilled upon a closed container.
And while doctors, psychiatrists, and counselors of all shapes and sizes can help in the ways they know how, it’s often people who are least trained — the closest of family and friends — who have the best chance to help those struggling with depression.
Learning to bring relief to loved ones who are anxious, depressed or searching for a path through the impact of trauma is not difficult.
It begins with learning to just listen and knowing the right questions to ask.
I’ve been blessed to witness the miracle that begins with truly listening thousands of times over; between soldiers and spouses, Veterans and their peers, children and parents, and couples of all ages, stages of life and relationship who discover the infinite possibilities of love that emerge from learning to be healing to one another.
Robin Williams made us laugh, challenged and guided generations through life’s most meaningful conversations, and taught us lasting lessons about humanity, humility, vulnerability, charity and love.
In his memory, let us learn to better listen with our hearts for the rhythm of pained emotions too often locked within loved ones following misguided rules that can lead to a lifetime of suffering.
For the people we love, we can make that Robin William’s most lasting contribution.
Seth D. Eisenberg is President/CEO of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation in Hollywood, Florida, a pioneering industry leader in marriage and relationship education. He is the author of PAIRS Essentials and Loops: The Secret Saboteurs of Intimacy and How to Get Rid of Them Forever, available from Amazon.