More sad news today surrounding Robin Williams' tragic suicide on Monday. His wife released an official statement and revealed that, along with his life-long battles with depression and substance abuse, the actor was also struggling with the onset of Parkinson's Disease, another debilitating ailment for the man already dealing with so much.
Said his wife, Susan Schneider:
Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.
Actor Michael J. Fox, who has famously dealt for years with his own Parkinson's Disease, is a clear example of just how life-changing and debilitating the ailment is, and though he has handled it with grace, it was, apparently, the last straw for a man who already had so much heaviness weighing upon him.
Robin'sMan daughter, Zelda Williams, who this week deactivated her Twitter account due to some unfathomably cruel images and comments directed at her, earlier released a poignant statement about her father:
My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare. My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments. While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…
Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.
It makes Williams' ability to fill the world with joy and his boundless capacity for kindness all the more remarkable when you realize the depth of the mental and medical struggles he faced on a daily basis. What a legend, both on and off camera.