It’s been over a week since Robin Williams died and with all the media coverage, I’ve found my mind often on him and his situation. I was one of those kids who grew up in the 70’s watching Happy Days and then Mork and Mindy. I followed him into the 80’s and 90’s with Popeye and Mrs. Doubtfire. Just like so many, he’s been in my media life all my life.
Since he died, I have seen nothing but one memorial or blog after another. Everyone seems to have an opinion about his life and death. The most disturbing reads have been the judgmental suicide columns. They’re heavy and doom-filled, and all I can do after I read them is sigh and wonder when we were given the right to judge another.
I am certainly no expert on the Bible, and I’m certainly no expert on suicide, but none of us have been given the special honor of being the ultimate judge over others. Best I recall, we are not to judge others at all.
Depression is an ugly, vile thing. I saw it devour my mother at times, and nothing about it was easy or clean. When she was deep in the midst of the dark, she tried her best to think of others but she was waging a battle that she could barely survive on her own. As a child, I witnessed her chemical imbalance, shock treatments, psychiatrists, institutions. Trust me, none of it is as simple as just snap out of it… or… if you’d think about your kids, you’d be fine.
I can only reason that people who judge others actions may have never been in their shoes before. (And it’s a good thing we all don’t have to experience every single bad thing in this world.) Still, before you condemn another, realize you may have never felt their pain or experienced their darkness.
I’ve knocked on depression’s door, caught glimpses of the dark, but never have I been unable to pull through. I’m lucky in that aspect, my mother wasn’t. The God I knew during those times never condemned me, never turned from me. I’ve actually never known more love than in those weakest moments. So instead of judging Robin Williams and the decisions he made, I’m praying that his suffering is over, that he’s felt God’s love, that people will try to love others as God loves us, and that we’ll all leave the judging to Him.