Robin Williams died yesterday of an apparent suicide. By now I’m sure this is not news, and in fact most of you will be tired of reading about it; but please, don’t stop reading this now because I have jumped on the bandwagon. I actually have something I wish to say.
The Academy tweeted this after news of Williams’ apparent suicide broke:
“Genie, you’re free”
I am going to be horrifically cold and abrasive in my next line, so if you wish to maintain a nice illusion of my person you’d better quit reading now (see how contradictory I am?).
Genie, you’re not free; you’re dead.
Dear Academy: please stop confusing sentimentality with comfort and filling the hearts and heads of those who listen to you with the idea that if you end your life in a fit of depression you will be free!
While comforting in a superficial, shallow way, this sentiment is actually incredibly destructive! The most devastating evils in the history of the world have become so because they were packaged as something nice and safe. But they were not.
By glorifying suicide as a means of escape from the horrors of life we are causing these horrors. It is like filling your baby’s bottle with heroin; it tastes good and will make the kid sleep, but then it kills him.
If you are entirely out of hope; if the horrors of life have caught you and you can see no way out, there are people who will help you. If you feel like there is no one to help, email me. I will find you someone who will help you. And please listen to me when I say that ending your life will not let you escape the pain; you will just be dead. There is hope, and there is healing.