For most of us, when a family member dies we are granted the gift of grieving in private. Our closest friends may call and send flowers and notes of sympathy, but for the most part we are given some time to say good-bye to our loved one in peace. But for the family of a celebrity, this is not the case.
This week, we lost a beloved and gifted actor/comedian. His fans (I am among them) have been trying to make sense of this tragedy. But we are not alone. Robin Williams’ family, those who knew him best lost someone greater than a comedian. They lost a husband, a best friend, a father, a confidant, and many other roles that he filled. This family deserves to mourn in solitude. The last thing that this family needs are internet trolls, and people hurling abuse at them. This family has already been dealt a difficult hand, why are there people out there trying to make them feel worse?
According to Slate, Zelda Williams (the daughter of Robin Williams) has deleted her social media accounts, because of people sending her “cruel and unnecessary” photoshopped images of her father’s body, and harassing her, because she didn’t have enough photos of her father on her instagram feed. She is 25 years old. How many people at the age of 25 have instagram photos of their parents?
Zelda has posted a tweet proclaiming her absence on social media. I for one applaud her for it.
I am feeling conflicted about reporting on the suicide of Robin Williams. Not that I don’t think he is worth talking about, but because this family needs peace, and they don’t need to be reading reminders of what has happened – and I just don’t want to harm them in any way. However, I will continue to update on the mental health dialogue that is happening, because of this tragedy.
Photo Source via Flickr – Matt Bateman