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When we made the decision early this morning to shift our second hour today to a remembrance of comedic actor Robin Williams (who was found dead in his California home on Monday), it was both remarkably easy and terribly difficult. Easy, because collecting notable Williams pieces from across his storied career brought laughter and smiles to everyone on staff; hard, because the need for a remembrance really made his unexpected and tragic death hit home for all of us.
We asked you for your memories and your favorite Williams moments throughout the morning and the broadcast, and you definitely delivered. (As many on Twitter and other forms of social media noted yesterday evening, Williams' career meant so many things to so many members of many different generations). We've collected some of your memories and thoughts here.
And a quick editorial note: news that Williams' death was ruled a suicide after his long battle with deep depression raises the importance of seeking medical attention and guidance when and if you're feeling depressed. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is just one of many resources available for those looking for help in times of need. We encourage all to reach out and talk to someone — a loved one, a colleague, a friend — when things just aren't feeling right.
"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."--as John Keating in Dead Poets Society (Taylor Peterson)
"Addiction and depression are common side effects of genius. The brightest among us have the darkest sides." (@JaradDewing)
"What's right is what's left if you do everything else wrong" -Robin Williams (@Baius_Galtar)
"You're only given one little spark of madness, you mustn't lose it." RW (Jared Eller)
"It's funny, I always saw a sadness in Robin Williams. It lay just out of touch of his comedy. The proverbial sad clown." (@joeytomatoes)
"The Fisher King, my favorite movie of all time. Robin Williams was hilarious as always, but there was an underlying depth and suffering to his character that I guess was not far from his reality. The scene in the Chinese Food restaurant was just wonderful...goofy, touching and so funny." (Leanne Gramlich Lapp)
"If there's a God in Heaven, he's laughing his ass off right now." (henorama)
""If women ran the world we wouldn't have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days." — Robin Williams (@kitchensisters)
"The first thing I think of is his kindness. Long before Comic Relief, he was involved with AIDS charities and helped the homeless. In San Francisco, few did not have, or at least know, a story of a gentle spirit." (Judy Raddue)
"From my youngest years, high school, college+, RW was as familiar face as an uncle's. His work on film is the greatest gift." (@andhonore)
"Oh Captain my Captain, you brought laughter to my life for so many years: a human cartoon with a generous heart, without peer. My darkest hours would be brightened by just a few minutes of watching one of your manic performances." (Jason Vincente)
And as we told a listener this morning on Twitter — it might be sad to think about such a colorful light being extinguished, but it's important to remember to share your sadness with those around you. Gather some friends and watch a favorite movie, talk about your memories with a neighbor or colleague. Remember that none of us is alone if we take the time to look for help and comfort, even in times of great sadness.
Carpe Diem, everybody. And thanks to Robin for all the laughs.