Jo says goodbye to a friend she met on television

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The world grew a bit dimmer this week when it lost the light that was Robin Williams.

I got the news during my moring perusal of the “Hollywood Reporter.”

His publicist Mara Buxbaum told the esteemed publication, “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late.

How ironic that the man who gave the world such laughter and years of comic relief could not overcome the empty abyss of depression himself.

With all the charity events held — Comic Relief, Band-Aid, Farm-Aid — it boggles the imagination that no one anywhere has spearheaded “Sad-Aid.” Why isn’t there a spotlight on depression? It is just as real as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and yet not one Hollywood honcho wants to touch the condition with a three-foot statuette to raise awareness. Shame on you Hollywood.

It’s a new century, the stigma attached to mental illness should be long gone and we should be enlightened.

There were actually comments on Twitter that called him selfish for taking his own life. How ignorant and insensitive can you get?

Depression is an equal opportunity disease — doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, fat or thin, ugly or beautiful. Some win the fight, and others, like Williams, who just can’t fight it anymore, end it all. It destroys individuals, breaks apart families, ends relationships, and hinders productivity. It is a catastrophic disease with no cure. But most certainly not a selfish one.

Henry David Thoreau said it best in “Walden”: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Robin Williams certainly did.

Here he is — the world at his feet — fame, fortune, beautiful children, a beautiful wife, a career doing what he loved — and yet none of it was enough to lighten the darkness of depression and give him peace. Desperation and depression won again — silencing one of the greatest talents of our time.

Robin Williams once said, “You’re only given one little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”

Not for Nuthin™, but with his passing, we have lost our little spark of madness, and he has left us with only sadness. Thank you Mr. Williams for the hours of laughter and joy you gave to us, your talent, generosity, and kindness. May you finally find the peace that so long eluded you in life. Nanoo-nanoo. Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues — such as the deaths of celebrities — every Wednesday on E-mail her at
Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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