Lorena Bathey's Blog
February 12, 2015
I started substitute teaching back in November. I like it. It also had solidified that my idea for the next stage of my life is a good one. I have decided to become an English teacher. It incorporates a lot of things I need going forward in my life. Doing something I love. Having a stable income and a plan for my future. And it affords me time to continue to follow my passion, writing. It’s a huge plus that I really like it.
Finding a way to make an income has made me become a workaholic of sorts. It’s twofold, I believe. For one, it creates a stability that is paramount to my survival, both in now and in the future. Second, it keeps me busy. Gets me out of the house. Allows me to interact with people again.
What it also does is diminish the time I have to grieve. While some of you might be shaking your heads right now and thinking, uh oh…slippery slope. I think it has been the perfect way to blend my grief with a positive action of moving forward.
When you lose someone so dear to you that has been so much a part of your life, there is a huge, gaping hole that you’re not sure how to fill. Most often you just put a big tarp over the hole and try to go on. But that rarely works because one day a blustery day of hurt arrives and blows that tarp off and there’s the��hole bigger and more gaping than before.
With working, I have found my grief arrives in weird increments and��at times I wouldn’t think possible. Driving home, for instance. That one hit me hard. I would finish a day of work and as I drove home I would feel this horrible sadness descend. It was troublesome and I tried to fight it, but then I realized. Deal with it, Lorena.
So I did. I listened to the hurt. It was missing my husband. It was missing what our life plan had been. It was knowing that the life I had invested in was no longer viable. Ah ha! Eureka. I�� had discovered it. The life I had planned was now null. It was void. That was the festering sore that seemed to rip its Band-Aid off during the half-hour commute home.
Okay, so what do they say about Band-Aids? Better to just rip them off, right? So I did. I ripped off the painful loss and asked myself, what was at the core. I didn’t choose this life. Ouch! Okay, but it was the life I had so I better find a way to be happy with it.
Once I addressed one of the elephants in my grief room, it got a lot less crowded.
Next grief elephant, it’s okay to move on. See this one is a tricky one. First off, moving on means leaving them behind. How do you do that? Leaving them behind means you can move on. Doesn’t that mean something? If this person was so significant to you, how do you, how can you, leave them behind? Doesn’t that make you a traitor to their memory?
What happens��if you��find yourself ready and very willing to take the ne next step into your life? Doesn’t that mean you’ve left them behind?
And when you find yourself excited about where you’re going, how do you jive that with the loss and the sadness you still carry with you?
And�� is it fair to beat yourself up? They aren’t here anymore. They left this world and you’re still here. You have to live. You have to be happy again. Right?
See slippery slope.
This is how I’ve chosen to deal with it. My way. It’s my grief and only I know how to deal with my grief. I’m not advocating that everyone needs to do it my way. But I have to do it my way. But that borders on the evil and horribly awful word selfish. But what if I only do the self part and don’t do the -ish?
I don’t want to take care of myself at the abandon of others feelings. But, I do need to take care of myself and in��my self-care some people may have their feelings hurt. It’s not intentional, but it might happen. Does that stop me from progressing on in my decisions and plans?
All this is treacherous waters to navigate. And finally I came to a decision.
This is my is my�� life and so I have to do what’s best for me. I will not do anything with an intention to hurt anyone, but I have to do what brings happiness and joy to my world.
December 3, 2014
Pictures of my Mom’s Antique Santa Collection that I use every year!
As we dive deep into the holiday season I find myself wondering how I will find any excitement over this Christmas. Losing my husband, my best friend, and my companion means that all the fun I had decorating our house and celebrating the season has been taken away.
I’ve always loved Christmas since my Mom made this holiday special. She loved decorating, making cookies, and buying presents for everyone. We always had a trip into San Francisco to soak in the cheer that splashed everywhere. When I lost her in 2001 the holiday light dimmed a lot. However, I was the mother to two small children so I picked up the holiday baton and carried my mother’s love of the season into our home.
After meeting my husband five years ago the holidays became a special time for us as our mutual love of the season went gangbusters. Our blended family loved celebrating together, buying gag gifts, and filling the floor with paper and the house with laughter. Our grandchildren came along and there was even more inspiration to make the holidays a perfect time of being together.
This year…I don’t even want to put up a tree. I did buy a wreath for the front door and a couple of poinsettia for the coffee table, but the thought of pulling out ornaments that we picked out together and adding festivity to our home feels unexciting and I’m not inspired.
I drive through our neighborhood with all the lights sparkling and Christmas trees peeking out from the front windows of homes and I try to find that spark in me.
I adore buying gifts for those I love and seeing the joy and surprise on their faces when they unwrap them. I’ll always love that. But I can’t imagine this season without the inflated Christmas decorations that my husband loved to put up. And I just can’t do it without him.
I know that life goes on. I also know Terry would want me to celebrate with the kids and make it happy. And I’ll try. Really, I will.
Thanksgiving was great. More than I expected really. It wasn’t during the festivities that I was sad. I was surrounded by my grandsons and family and was happy to be there. But when I came home and entered a cold and empty house I broke down.
That’s what it always comes down to. A cold and lonely house. My home, which was always filled with happiness, love, kisses, and hugs is now empty. It’s just me buying frozen dinners for one. I freaking hate that!
I think the biggest thing people don’t realize is that it isn’t the big days that you are at your greatest sadness. Of course you miss them desperately on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays, but it is deepest on a random Tuesday when you see something that reminds you of them. Or a Thursday when you hear a song that makes you think about them.
For some reason you prepare and steel yourself for the big days. And those that love you are so wonderful checking up on you. But this is the thing about losing someone so important in your life, there can’t be someone there every time you’re sad. You have to deal with that pain in your own way and find a way to go on.
So, I may not be able to put a tree up this year. But I can find gifts for those I love to make me feel better. I can wrap them beautifully and bask in the joy when they open them.
I don’t know what the New Year is going to bring, that’s the scary part. In fact this year I’ll be bringing in the New Year with friends at a 20’s themed party. Why? Because I know my husband would want me to do this. He wants me to be happy and find joy. I also know that at some point in the evening he will whisper in my ear, “Happy New Year, Baby Doll.”
November 24, 2014
Yesterday was a very good day. Actually this whole weekend has been wonderful. That feels very good. It also feels a bit like betrayal.
The Ferry Building in San Francisco. I took this picture on a family visit to town.
Yesterday I spent the day with a good friend enjoying San Francisco. We walked the Embarcadero starting with the booths outside the Ferry Building. I came across an artist that made beautiful paintings and interestingly he was an author, too. Then we entered the delicious realm of delicacies and savory treats that abounded. Armed with pork buns and bomboli we found a wine bar and enjoyed the delectable taste treats washed down with exciting vintages. Conversation was wonderful and stretched across many themes.
Then we walked the Embarcadero. It was a perfect day weather-wise (those that know San Francisco know that is the actual San Francisco treat) and while jockeying around tourists and families we enjoyed conversation and friendship.
We ended up by the water watching crazy people swimming, sailboats heading out under the bridge, and recalling memories. Of course my mind went to the constant of the loss of my husband. But sitting there I could feel the joy and the satisfaction that my husband felt at my happiness. It’s interesting how we often feel that we need to be constantly sad by our loss. But as I sat there truly reveling in the day, I felt peace. My husband was with me and he was happy that I was enjoying life.
That’s what I believe those that pass on really want for us. They want us to remember them of course, but they don’t want us to stop our lives. They don’t want our life to be like a watch stuck on the time when it was shattered. I know that Terry never wanted that for me. In fact, I know that because of his way of being and the love he had for me, he felt he could leave because I would enjoy days such as yesterday.
It feels a bit counterintuitive to say that. But it also feels very right.
Oddly enough I didn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt for my enjoyment yesterday. I think it’s the first time I have experienced that. Every other time I was enjoying myself I felt a twinge, and sometimes a down right punch in the face, of guilt and loss. Yesterday I realized that my loss will always be with me. The insurmountable feeling of something missing will be constant as I move through my life. But the point is that I move through.
It’s not dishonoring them to be happy. To enjoy the sweet taste of nutella wrapped up in a delicious sugared pastry is actually celebrating them in some weird way. Laughing, being joyous, truly submerging in this world is what I believe they would want us to do.
It takes courage to go out into the world after great loss. It takes strength to decide to live when you’ve lost such an integral part of your soul, but that is what living on is about. It’s seeing the beauty in the world even though you’ve been battling through the pain, suffering, and torture of losing the love you had with the person who as departed.
I know my husband wanted me to be happy and to go and live completely. He wanted me to eat, drink, be merry, travel, stretch my boundaries.
So this weekend when I played with my granddaughters enjoying their sweet giggles, ate dinner with my daughter and her family in their new home, and basked in the sunshine in one of my favorite cities, Terry was right beside me and happy in my contentment and peace.
What we think those who pass want for us is not what they truly want. When I am in sorrow and so sad at my loss of the man I loved, I actually feel him at a distance and its far more painful. But yesterday in my bliss I felt him sitting right next to me, smiling at my laughter and happy that I was out in the world enjoying it’s beauty.
The week after Terry died I sat down and watched the movie, We are Marshall. It’s the story of a college football team who loses almost everyone on the team in an airplane accident. The story focuses on the college’s desire to rebuild and to honor those that had passed by not giving up. The movie spoke to me so strongly the first time I watched it and today, as I was writing this blog, the movie came on again. It was at the end scene when the team pulls together and wins. I sat watching and seeing the joy on the faces of those on the team as they watched their once decimated football team rise up out of the ashes and actually win and to honor those they loved by playing the best they could. I don’t believe in coincidences so I know I was meant to see this as I was writing this blog.
It was a confirmation that what I am feeling and writing about is true.
I know tomorrow I may not be able to leave the house because I will be lost in tears and sorrow. But today I am celebrating life. Celebrating my husband’s memory by being fully immersed in the world. It is the best way to honor the love that we shared and truly the best way to carry him with me.
November 18, 2014
Sink hole I took on the beach.
I find it so weird that the time that I feel hit the hardest with the loss of my husband is when I’m driving home after substitute teaching. I miss him other times of course, but when I’ve finished my day and am driving home I am hit with enormous emotions.
The other day, after a very tough day of subbing, I could barely make it to my car before I started crying. Wait. Not just crying, but sobbing with those big gulps of breath and squinty eyes as tears streamed down my face. Halfway home, and still in the thralls of this episode, the screaming began. I felt such anger, frustration, and pain that crawled up my throat until I expelled it vocally.
That didn’t end when I reached the safety of my home. Then the real screaming began. I cursed. I yelled. I just…lost it.
Today on the commute home I felt those emotions returning and I thought, why do I keep feeling this so strongly now?
That’s when it hit me.
It’s because this isn’t the life I chose. I didn’t pick this path, it was thrust upon me. And now I feel like I have to take the second string and make it my starting line up. And I resent that.
I mean, I know I have to live and go on and make a new life. I know. I know. But that’s when my grief, loss, and seven other bazillion emotions hit me. Cause I didn’t want this life. I wanted to have a long and happy life with my husband while we both followed our dreams and created amazing books and drums. I wanted to travel with him to Italy and see history, art, and the beauty of the country. I wanted to grow old together and die together like the couple in The Notebook.
Instead I have to go back out into the world alone. I have to create a new career. I have to take care of things I didn’t really want to deal with. And I have to find a way to be happy.
When I’m driving home from my new endeavor I feel all of this. I know it’s normal to feel things like this. I know I will get through it at some point in my life. I know that some day in the future I will be happy. But right now it all seems so far off and unattainable.
Grief doesn’t make sense. It’s like a ninja jumping out and attacking you when you least expect it.
However, I guess there is something good in knowing the why of my breakdowns every day. It absolutely makes it easier to figure out how to deal with it.
Every day I learn something new about myself. Some things are good. Some are bad. I have learned I am like Wonder Woman strong. I have learned that I am rusty at making decisions for myself. I have learned that being a human being is a constant flux of adaption.
Nietzsche said, “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” Said often and heard all the time, I can tell you that he knew what he was talking about.
November 12, 2014
I took this picture of a painting at a SF art gallery. This is what grief feels like.
I started going through the grief steps with you in this blog and I thought it would be a one after another kind of thing. But that’s not how this works. Instead, I find myself jumping around through them all.
The Elizabeth Kublor Ross grief cycle is : denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. This cycle is pretty true, however, I don’t think everyone feels it the same way or has all the components involved in their grief.
I never felt the denial. As I stated in my previous post I didn’t have much denial. I mean, how do you deny that someone is gone? I understood why my husband left. So for me denying it wasn’t an issue.
Same with bargaining. I mean, what am I going to bargain for? A Lazarus moment? My husband is dead. He isn’t coming back. No amount of bargaining is going to change that.
But anger, depression, and acceptance have been my go-to buddies. I bounce around through them all. Sometimes they all come to visit in a single day. I feel a bit schizophrenic sometimes as I begin bawling during my cool down at Zumba because the song just struck me so hard. Then when I get home I throw something cause I’m so damn angry. It’s tumultuous and heart-wrenching and most of all, it’s very lonely.
I’m so very blessed to have sensational people loving and supporting me. But I can’t tell them everything. And I can’t call people who are living their life to stop what they’re doing because I’m having a knock-down-drag-out with anger.
There are things in life that if you haven’t experienced them, you just don’t understand. It’s not from lack of trying, but it’s just impossible to understand if you haven’t walked in their shoes.
Everyone’s grief is their own. And no matter how hard you try, you cannot escape the grieving process. It’s a solitary thing. Others can love you and listen to you, but they can’t fix what’s happened and they can’t take away the pain. It’s constant. It’s like a rat gnawing a rope.
I’m moving on. I have to. Curling up in a ball and just ignoring the reality is not anything I’d ever be able to do. I’m a doer. I keep myself busy. I make lists of things to do. I keep moving. Keep busy. Don’t stop.
But that doesn’t always work either.
What strikes at my soul and lays me bare is that my husband, my best friend, my partner in business, my confidant, my lover, and one of the best people I ever knew, is gone. He’s not coming back. I have to learn to live my life without him. And it’s fucking hard.
I can make all the lists I want, but I can’t ask him what he thinks. I can keep busy doing things, but I come home to an empty house. I can wear myself out with details, but I still crawl into bed at night alone. This is the reality.
I know I’m strong. Honestly, I had no idea how strong I was until this happened. I mean, I knew I was a pretty tough chick. I’d endured some struggles and pains and gotten through them. But I never understood the human component for survival until this. This is when your true nature grabs your sad, frightened, worried, nervous persona and drags it by the neck to who you really are. It puts a mirror in front of you and says, “You are this. You are this strong. You can do this and don’t ever forget it.”
This is why I’m still standing. Because my nature demands it. This is why I’ve made plans for the future and am acting on those plans. Because I don’t have any other choice.
Call it what you will, the Elizabeth Kublor Ross grief cycle on steroids or just the true nature of who I am, I don’t know. But I will move forward.
It’s funny but in many of those bad places when I can’t see more than five minutes ahead I hear Terry in my head. He says, “You mean the world to me, I adore you, I love you.” And something in that soothing phrase makes me know that I can’t sit in this place of inaction. He wouldn’t want me to. He wouldn’t want me to lay down and quit. He wants me to live on . To more than live on, to thrive, grow, experience, travel, change, adapt, be happy, love, smile, and absorb the wonderfulness of life.
So I will.
October 31, 2014
Tomorrow we are having a wake for my husband as a celebration of his life. A time to talk about funny stories, things we will remember about him, and be together.
I had this idea of what I want it to be like. I know, bad idea to plan ahead because things usually don’t go as planned. But I think when I get right down to it, I want to just be in a room with people who have memories of him and then just talk about it all. I just want to focus on him and hear his voice through other people’s words.
On the other hand, I’m sad. For some reason this feels like a finality. Like a finish line or some place that’s been off in the distance and now we’re here. And I feel like once I cross that finish line things will change.
How? I can’t really put my finger on it. Just that saying goodbye this way takes me across something I don’t really understand.
Grief. I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I can hear something said on t.v. and I’m sobbing. Or why I sit in my home and feel his presence. Wait for him to come home. Or why I sometimes have to run through everything in my head to know he’s gone because I expect to go home and find him sitting in his chair.
Our wedding day!
It’s hard because I have to move on. I have to go on with my life. And on some level that feels like a betrayal. I know he wanted that. I know he wants me to go and live my life and do things like we wanted. But I still feel like I’m betraying him by living.
So for one day I just want to be surrounded by people who loved him. To talk about his crazy antics, big heart, and joy of music. To look at pictures of him up on a wall. To drink a toast to him. To be hugged and loved.
I think we’ll have that. I know he’ll be there.
October 9, 2014
Rainstorm by Lorena Bathey Whitington
Anger. I know it.
I get mad at him for leaving me. I get mad at God for taking him.
It comes in small waves and great big tsunamis. I understand this stage more than I do denial.
There is so many ups and downs in this process, and I’m only a few weeks into it. I try not to think about a month from now when I don’t have so much to attend to. When it’s quiet and the pace of getting things done isn’t keeping my mind from the emotions. What will I feel like then?
I have always believed that with great sadness, anger is a more powerful emotion. With sadness we collapse. Our heart hurts. Tears are shed. Sobs escape. But with anger, we are defiant. We have this powerful rage running through us. We throw things. We cuss people out. We explode so we don’t implode.
Perhaps this is why anger is part of this process. It gives us strength even if it’s in misplaced anger.
But anger at someone who is no longer here can feel unfulfilling. We can’t get a response. We can’t see their face as we rally at them for the hurt they’ve caused. Just silence.
The anger for me was very obvious at the beginning. Yet as I grew to understand, the anger slowly dissipated. I’m not angry any more. Well, not much. I do have my moments. My thoughts of, damn you, why did you leave me?
It’s natural. We’re human. It hurts. We’re mad. We’re sad. It’s too much. What to do? Get angry.
I think my anger was more directed at God. I rallied to the sky as to why my husband had to suffer so much, to lose everything not once but twice. I ‘m angry at God for treating him like a cat with a mouse. Batting him around. Making him suffer. That to me seems so unfair. (I know, life isn’t fair) but it seems so…unGodlike.
But after I’m done raising my fist to the sky I know.
Everyone has their belief system. It is my belief that we come here to live, to learn, and to grow. There is so much beauty here that we often don’t see because we’re mired down in the yuckiness or the day-to-day bullshit. I believe that wherever we go after this planet is beyond amazing. There we are healthy, light, peaceful, and blissful. There we can watch over those we love and be their angels.
Does that make me understand? Do I know the why?
No, and I never will. I’ll never know why I only got six years with this wonderful man. I’ll never know why he had to be in so much pain. And so after a boiling point my anger fades as I decide, I don’t need to know why.
I only need to know that I was able to love someone so completely and be loved the same in return. I got so many smiles, hugs, so much laughter, and thousands of kisses. I was adored. I was teased. I was treasured. I was loved.
This is what melts that anger away. I had what many people yearn for so how can I ever be angry at that? I had unconditional true love. I was blessed. How can I be angry after knowing that?
October 6, 2014
I’ve always heard of the stages of grief so I thought I’d take a look at these and see how I am doing this as I go through this horrible and vital transformation in my own life.
Denial. This word immediately brings up the very tired joke of “What is denial? A river in Egypt.”
Well, I think my denial is in grief as wide and long as the Nile. And I guess if I wax poetic, it’s filled with the currents like a river. I don’t think we go through these stages in order. I know that I went through all the stages sometimes in several minutes. All of them at the same time. And even some of them for a whole day.
But denial. That’s a hard one. How do I deny that my husband, the love of my life, isn’t here anymore? His absence is like a screaming thing that lives in my house. His chair remains still. There is no roaring sound from his computer. The bed next to me is empty and cold. And most of all, his smile and warm arms don’t encircle me any longer. This I cannot deny. There is no way to do so.
But maybe if I look deeper the denial comes from my decision to create a future. In a matter of a couple of days I had a plan. A penciled out plan that has been reconstructed and redone several times since I first etched it in my mind, but still a plan. Perhaps that is the denial that they speak of. That my life, as I knew it, isn’t over. I’m moving forward. Because he wants me to. Because I have to.
That denial is true. But denying this happened is impossible. The night runs through my thoughts, not as often or as vivid, but has to. It has to because my brain, in so much sorrow, has me thinking that he’s just at band practice. Or after seeing a movie, that I’ll go home and he’ll be they’re calling out when I walk through the door. Perhaps that’s the denial that they speak of.
The horror of knowing that he isn’t there is sometimes more than I can bear. I know he’s not. It’s quite definite. However, my mind let’s go for a minute or two, here and there and I have to relive the sadness and knowingness that my love is gone.
Denial. I wish it was just a river in Egypt. I wish I was sailing on it now with my husband looking at the pyramids and exclaiming at the history we’re surrounded with. That’s the denial. That I won’t get to walk down the streets of Rome eating gelato and trodding on ancient pathways with him. That I won’t get to kiss his face and make love to him again. That I won’t get to hear his voice tell me that he loves me.
I don’t know how the body, mind, and spirit truly processes such loss. I only know that I am doing it the best I can. One minute at a time. One hour at a time. One day at a time. I go to bed each night missing him. I wake each morning missing him. I walk through my day finding myself living, as I should, but in those seconds it creeps in, the loss. The terrible, terrible loss.
I know that I am strong. I have been beat down, gotten back up, beat down again, and still I am miraculously standing.
Denial. Is it survival? Denial. Is it a passage way to healing? Denial.
October 2, 2014
Since I last posted my world was turned upside down. My universe slowed. And the stars paled in the sky.
Terry Whitington doing what he loved!
I lost my husband who was my soul mate (in all the right ways), best friend, partner, and great love.
It is very hard to stand up straight when you lose someone so significant. It is impossible to breathe. All that is real is the raw feeling of your heart. It feels as if it has gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. It’s bruised, cracked, crushed, and as if a part is missing.
When someone choses to die it is very hard to take. Why? Why? Why? Why? Is what you say. But when you know the why, it still doesn’t make it any easier.
Loss is all-consuming. But not in the way you might think. At least that’s what I found. It seemed impossible to believe that I would ever smile or laugh again. Days after the loss I did just that. I laughed. And I felt horrible.
I thought, “How dare I feel joy. How dare I laugh. How can I do that when I am so devastated.” I felt like a horrible person. Like I was trivializing what had just happened to someone I adored and loved. I was taken aback by the feelings.
I thought about this situation and spoke about it others. People said, “he’d want you to be happy” and “he’d want you to feel joy.” And I know all that, he would. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be happy. I wanted to be writhing on the floor in tears, keening in corners, tearing my hair out. I wanted to be wailing. Because that’s how I really felt. But I couldn’t. Something stopped me.
What was it? I don’t know for certain. But my belief tells me it is a lot of things. It is our love. It was buoying my spirit. It was allowing me to see joy even through all the pain. It is him. He was here in my heart, in my head, in my world. I felt him. I heard him. I KNOW he is here helping me get through this.
I know everyone has their belief systems and those systems have different takes on what happens when someone dies. But what I know, what I’ve experienced in the past, tells me that those we love don’t leave us right away, if ever. And that gives me peace. That allows me to laugh.
I talk to him all the time. I tell him when I’m mad at him. I tell him how much I miss him. I tell him what I’m going to do for the future. I wait for his response. I talk to him before I go to sleep. I talk to him when I wake up. All through the day I tell him that I love him. That he changed me. That our love was singularly wonderful. That everything that we went through made me the person I am today. That my strength comes from the fact that I loved him and he loved me.
That’s how I get through my loss. Some may say it’s wrong. I don’t care. Every loss is different and everyone goes through their loss in their own way.
Why? I’ll still ask this over and over. But what I chose to really work at is remembering. The way he said my name. How he loved to tease me and drive me nuts. His smile. The way it felt when he hugged me. The moments we bore our souls to each other. The joy we shared in laughter. The moments with our family. The day I married him.
Every night when I go to bed I turn off the light in my family room. As I reach for the switch I see our wedding picture. I see our faces and how we were looking at each other with just complete adoration, hope, truth, and love. That’s my last image of my day.
Loss. It’s a word that is inadequate in my book. But loss exists and we must get through it. I will get through it. He knew this about me. But how I get through it will be my own way and in my own time.
August 15, 2014
San Francisco, the city Robin Williams loved!
When I heard that Robin Williams had died I stopped breathing, moving, and even thinking for a moment. Everything stopped.
I felt tears welling up and my heart hurt. I couldn’t believe the news I was hearing. Instantly, I turned on the television where news stations were filled with talking about his death, who he was, his work, his life, and mostly his grace.
There on the screen was his wonderful smile with the crinkly eyes that made you know he had mischief brewing. I remained stunned.
That whole day I was so sad. I felt like a good friend had died. Not a man I’d watched on television and movies, but a friend I had meals with and talked on the phone to. I couldn’t do anything but watch clips of his standup and performances on You Tube.
I know I’m not alone. I know that countless individuals felt the same. I know because for two or more days, his death was the leading story on almost all the news shows.
I spent the next few nights watching his movies. Of course, Mrs. Doubtfire was first. Not since Tootsie has a man so perfectly encapsulated a role as a woman. And don’t we all want a Mrs. Doubtfire in our life?
I was stunned as his poor daughter was harassed by people thinking not of her loss, but of their wants. This poor girl had one of the biggest loves of her life ripped from her and everyone should understand and give her love, support, and prayer.
It is only now a week later that I am beginning to come to grips that this wonderfully caring and giving man is gone and won’t be gracing the screen with his unimaginable talent. Think about it, not only was he a comedic genius, but he nailed some truly stupendous dramatic roles. Two of my favorites, Dead Poet’s Society and Good Will Hunting show his immense and all-encompassing talent as you are awed by his believability and honesty in his roles.
I recall being in New York City many years ago and walking down a street and Robin Williams walked toward me. As he neared, my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything to him, really too shy and awed to bother him. But now I wish I had. I know it might have been an inconvenience to him, but I’m sure he would’ve taken the time to smile that smile at me and make me feel like in that moment I meant the world to him. Oh, that I had been braver when I was younger. I certainly didn’t take his advice and Carpe Diem. Had I done that, I might have a wonderful memory to assuage my sadness.
I send prayers to his family. I hope they can feel the huge outpouring of love that people had for this amazing person who shared their private world. We loved him too, maybe from afar or in dark theatres, but the love was true.
As a last thought. Remember that life is fragile. It is beautiful, wondrous, and can be so fleeting. Make the most of your life. Carpe Diem a little more and laugh as much as possible. I think Robin Williams would find that a good motto to live by.