What a tragic loss to the world of comedy.
Without writing any more words you know who I am speaking of....the legend that is Robin Williams.
It's so common that people hide their pain behind a smile, it's much easier to make a joke than shed a tear, why is that?
Is it that society is scared of seeing people in pain, so much so a hidden message is always broadcast to all who need to hear it....."Do not show your vulnerability here, you may make us feel uncomfortable"? Or is it that we as people feel a need to hide our pain, sadness and issues? Maybe it's a combination of both?
So what can we learn from losing this comic genius?
I would suggest it's this:
1, Never assume just because someone is smiling things are OK...people can hide their pain so deeply, at times only those who live with them can see the shadows their depression casts.
2, Reach out to all people. Never step back and presume someone else is better placed than you are to offer a shoulder to cry on, as what if that means no one at all offers support.
3, Let's all start talking about our emotions, lets remove the stigma around depression, addiction and hopelessness. The more we talk about these issues the less taboo they will become, and people will feel more comfortable seeking help.
4, Talk to your children about all emotions! Let's raise the next generation to be open about every human experience, this could honestly change the face of the world.
I know Robin's family have said they hope he will be remembered for his work, rather than the way he died, and I truly respect that. However if Robin's death can save even one life, isn't that an even more profound legacy?
I will end this with one of my favourite quotes from my childhood.
We hope you have now found a place of peace Mr Williams...we salute you.
Zoe Clark-Coates is one of the founders and CEO's of the Mariposa Trust. The Saying Goodbye division offers support and national remembrance services for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years.
Website: www.mariposatrust.org & sayinggoodbye.org