This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!  

Dedicated to Robin Williams

During tragic weeks like this when high profile people leave us, I tend to want to have us all grieve quickly and get over it. But when someone you watched throughout your life – even if in fictional stories – leaves too soon, you just cannot help but recognize the preciousness of life and how grateful we must be for the gifts that others bestow on us in the present.

When I was a child, my Dad was a big fan of Williams’s older comedic work. I never understood what the reference was in the movie Good Morning Vietnam, but my Dad just loved repeating it in the way Williams said it. Watching movies with my Dad was a weekly ritual in our household, so it amazes me how much of those times were spent watching movies that Williams starred in.

In the 1990’s I was mesmerized by the movies Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Jumanji.

On my 14th birthday, we watched To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. It was the first time I’d ever seen drag queens so prominent in a feature film.

In high school, I watched Jack. In Jack he played a child with a disease that made him age quickly, and his performance was so convincing. I then watched two of his older films during class, Dead Poet’s Society and Awakenings. At the time I didn’t know I had a love for language, so DPS really hit home. De Niro was amazing in Awakenings, but he couldn’t have shined without a great supporting performance by Williams as the sympathetic doctor.

And of course, no one could forget Good Will Hunting. In many movies Williams played doctors, including Patch Adams. I had forgotten that he was also the voice of Dr. Know in A.I., which is the Oz-like character in the film.

As a teenager, I once walked by Williams on Burrard Street near Robson. It was the first time I’d seen a celebrity in person. It occurred to me how normal he seemed and that’s it’s great that we in Vancouver tend to leave celebrities alone because they should be able to live their own lives without us all gawking at them.

In watching Williams in interviews I always felt like he was acting and didn’t need to. He gave a lot of himself, a trait I know about all too well. Perhaps he needed boundaries and could not get the help he needed to find them within himself.

Nevertheless, he is gone, but not forgotten, and forever immortal through his work on Earth that affected so many of us positively. May he rest in peace.

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