Tag Archive: Collective Grief


Robin Williams 2

It isn’t possible to know what was in Robin Williams’ mind when he committed  suicide, as there has been no mention of a suicide note.

We are all in the dark.

It emerged today through his widow that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

That might have been a factor in his suicide, it might even have been the deciding factor.

He might have done it for himself, he might have done it for those who would have had to care for him,

His mind might not have been clear at all in determining his final act.

Some of us are left wondering who he was, and feeling a bit betrayed.

Maybe there is something in the assertion that suicide is selfish.

(My father committed suicide.  I was 11.  I have missed him and made excuses for him to myself for years  I have felt a responsibility to understand and love him.  I have to see myself and my experience as separate, the burden of responsibility and identification is too great.)

Whatever may emerge, we don’t know why he killed himself, not really.

We can only guess and maybe come to a conclusion that is most comfortable for us, that we feel we can understand.

I feel sorry that he has gone this way.

He was obviously in great pain.

Why this need to make a god and a benchmark of a frail and aging man?

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A Time To Mourn

I read a post that was in Freshly Pressed yesterday, which said that the writer was not going to write because there is a time to stop and mourn, and that the Connecticut shootings were that time.  I agree with that, it was an awful tragedy.  So was the suicide of the nurse who took the hoax call, in the UK.  The question is, after we stop, then what?  There has to be a significant outcome to our stopping.

I have felt very selfish and unnatural for not stopping myself, and to be honest I find stopping hard fr something that has not directly affected me.  But hearing the news obviously made an impression and caused feelings of grief.  We don’t just recover from those after stopping briefly, do we?  Surely our lives and attention, our priorities and motivations,  have to take a different direction out of the stopping?

I cannot fight legitimately for my own life while ignoring the grief of others.  So if that grief touches me, what can I do?  As a homeless person on a section 3 in a residential rehabilitation unit of the NHS, awaiting accommodation?

But the point for me is that I have to learn to stop again, and acknowledge the stopping.

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