The Day the Laughter Died (In Memory of Robin Williams)

Robin Williams Graffiti Tribute

Robin Williams was one of the best comedians of all time. My first memories of him were on the sitcom, Mork & Mindy before he went on to star in some of the best movies in the business. During interviews and appearances, he seemed to be happy and chipper, always having a good one-liner on hand to brighten any mood.

I remember exactly where I was, and I was doing when news of his death first broke. It shocked me to my core as it did millions of fans around the globe. Because of his happy and upbeat demeanor, he was the last celebrity I thought would ever commit suicide, and it only goes to show that this manner of death often comes with no prior warning signs.

Unfortunately, outward appearances can be deceiving, and just because someone may look happy, confident, and outgoing doesn’t mean that they aren’t privately battling the evil demon of depression.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year, which equals to one person every 40 seconds. It is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-29. However, the elderly have the highest suicide rates, more than 50% higher than young people (


One reason for the high suicide rate is that people frown upon mental illness. Because those unlucky enough to battle it fear others might judge them negatively and unfairly, they don’t admit that there’s a problem and refuse to get treatment.
Robin Williams was no different.

I can tell you that despite his fame and fortune, he was afraid of being judged. Being a man, came with the fear that society would revoke his proverbial man-card, as men are conditioned from infancy to be the pillars of strength, which is why suicide rates are much higher with males. Being a comedian, he was afraid of being discredited and possibly losing his career.

Because there is so much stigma which surrounds depression and mental illness, these were very legitimate fears. I have found that people judge those with mental illness worse than they do thieves and murderers, and it’s a shame.

What’s even more mind-boggling is that many of these finger-pointers also have some mental illness themselves or in their families. They only live in denial and point fingers to distract others from their own issues.

Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of Robin Williams’ death. If someone as talented, vibrant, wealthy, and famous as Robin Williams can be stricken with depression or any form of mental illness, then anyone can at any time.
People suffering do not need your criticism or your pity. They need your support!

It’s time to stop hiding, stop passing judgment, and remove the stigma!

In Memory of Robin Williams

(July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)

0 thoughts on “The Day the Laughter Died (In Memory of Robin Williams)

  1. francisashis says:

    I truly appreciate your thoughts and views about people suffering of depression.Almost every one is fighting a battle behind the screen which is invisible so we ought to be kind and generous to such people.Thank you very much for sharing.Take care.😊🌹🙏

  2. Infinite Living says:

    I too exactly remember where I was, when I heard the news. I can still feel the emotion of deep sadness in that moment. It is indeed a sad reality that mental health is not recognized by family and judged by society. Being kind no matter what is so important. I appreciate your post that is written with such clarity.

    • cheriewhite says:

      You’re very welcome. I too remember the shock and the sadness I felt when the news broke. We lost one of the best funny-men in history! He could always make me laugh so hard I’d almost burst at the seams!

  3. kagould17 says:

    I’m with you. The world lost a dear soul and a comedic genius when Robin died. I am currently reading his bio Robin and can see he found it tough to be a comic and actor without people judging you. He took criticism hard, as many of us do. I hope he is at peace. Thanks for the post. Allan.

  4. Kym Gordon Moore says:

    Oh Cherie this is such a wonderful tribute. His loss was so shocking and heartbreaking. I don’t think too many people knew he was suffering from mental health difficulty. They say that people like comedians and those of us who are always smiling and overly upbeat, maybe suffering silently inside. I tend to agree with that.

    Even when I heard about Anthony Bourdain, I was so sad because I had no idea he was suffering silently when it looked like he was on top of the world. Thanks so much for remembering and sharing. 🙏🏼💖🤗

  5. Greg Dennison says:

    Aww 🙁 I have a friend in real life (and very occasional blogger on here) (not someone I knew during the time period I’m writing about) who knew Robin Williams personally at one time; he grew up in the same town where Robin lived. He was really sad at Robin’s passing…

  6. Cindy Georgakas says:

    I too loved Robin Williams Cherie. he was so uplifting and such a gem. He was friends of friends of ours and we meant him once at a party and he was so lovely. Sadly, he was unknowingly suffering from Lewy body dementia, an incurable brain disease. Before his death, he was being treated for Parkinson’s Disease. It is incurable which I think through him over the edge and he was so frustrated and didn’t want to go that way. It had to be so sad and depressing not a nice Stribute about him. Soooooooo sad!💖💖💖❤️❤️🌷🌷🌷

  7. Dave Williams says:

    Truly a sad loss. He was one of a kind. Very funny when he unleashed his energy on a subject. And more than a comedian — he was a tender actor. He added a good deal of heart to “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Good Will Hunting.”

  8. loujen haxm'Yor says:

    I’m not a regular at comedy store appearances. But I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Robin at Golden Hall in San Diego. It was the hardest I have ever laughed in my life. Will miss the diversity of this great actor.

  9. Anand Bose says:

    Dear Cherie, Well written article. Yes, he was also my favorite actor. There are a lot of conspiracy theories showing that he might have been murdered by secret societies.

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