It’s hard to believe that it’s already been more than six months since the tragic suicide of Robin Williams. The world was left absolutely stunned when the comedian succumbed to his battle with depression, leaving behind devastated family, friends and fans. An unexpected silver lining of this extremely sad situation is that it has made people talk about mental health and that’s exactly what his daughter, Zelda, wants to see happen.
For the first time since losing her father, the young woman sat down with Entertainment Tonight for an interview. The 25-year-old was candid about how hard it has been to grieve and said: “It’s going to take a lot of work to allow myself to have the sort of fun, happy life that I had, but that’s important. Anybody who has ever lost anyone works very hard to continue that memory in a positive way.”
To honor her father in an honest and beautiful way, she got a tattoo of a hummingbird because “they’re fun and flighty and strange. It’s hard to keep them in one place and dad was a bit like that. Keeping a conversation in one moment was impossible with him.” She added that being with him was like trying to “put a bag around a storm and hoping it wouldn’t blow away.”
While his enthusiasm and spirit cannot be denied, he didn’t reserve it just for laughs. Instead, he shared his incredible voice to raise awareness about many issues including HIV/AIDS, addiction and, of course, mental health issues. Zelda explained that her father never wanted others to feel alone and said that sharing his own battles “helped him not hide. If you have things that make you sad, express them to other people.”
As we grieve, sometimes we look for someone to blame for the loss. In her own situation, Zelda believes that “there’s no point questioning it and no point blaming anyone for it… there’s no point blaming yourself or the world or whatever the case may be because it happened and you have to continue to move and you have to continue to live and manage.” Powerful words from someone who lost someone so recently.
Recently, she accepted a Noble Award on her father’s behalf which he received in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and his work with the Challenged Athlete Foundation, an organization that provides prosthetics to disabled athletes.
It appears as though the late actor’s daughter has that same caring spirit. In her own effort to raise awareness, she tweeted: “It’s bedtime here, but before I go, please take 5 minutes today & have a conversation about mental health. End the stigma. It’s #timetotalk.”
She’s absolutely right. Have you started the conversation among your friends and family?