Maybe he was supposed to die years ago and it was only through his inner strength, support, and luck that he lasted this long. Still, if he made it this far – battling addiction and depression for so many years, why did he snap now? Why did he finally give up?
Millions of people are addicted, homeless, in jail or dead because of mental illness and an inability to cope, find support, or get the needed help. The suicide rate doubles our homicide rate. Think about it. We are twice the danger to ourselves than others pose to us. Over 38,300 people took their lives this past year. Williams is just the latest and best known to have done so.
I want to be angry at Williams and blame him, but I can’t. It’s not his fault. It’s not society’s fault either. Bad things happen in life. We’d like to feel we can save the world but the truth is we cannot. It doesn’t mean we give up trying – we can help more people than we realize. But some people, even someone as seemingly happy and successful as Williams was, know when to leave the stage. Perhaps his death will save others and throw a spotlight of understanding and resources to tackle mental illness. But we know we will revisit this soon, with another celebrity, star athlete or ordinary dad or teenager. And we will need more comics like Williams to help us get over their loss.