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    Posted August 11, 2014 by
    Orlando, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    In Memoriam

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    The Tears of a Clown

    When I first saw Robin Williams as Mork on "Happy Days", I was almost befuddled by his amazing ability to never stop moving, both physically and mentally. As I watched his career grow and expand (I have always been quite the Robin Williams fan), I became used to the ever-quickening reparte and multi-faceted cast of characters that always seems to be at his beck and call. Now, it really doesn't surprise me to hear that he was suffering from depression. So many of our greatest and most beloved comics have been found to have suffered similiarly. Many of the "class clowns" I attended high school with were also weighed down with depression. They used their quick wit and charming smiles to hide the side of themselves even they could not come to grips with.

    Robin Williams was screamingly funny, amazingly kind and extremely understanding and tolerant of those who worked and lived around him. While depression is a stealthy thief who steals so many bits and pieces of those it afflicts, it can also have the effect of creating grace and empathy for others who may find themselves dealing with other undermining events in their lives.

    So often we are wrapped up in enjoying the ever effervescent, always entertaining personalities of people like Robin Williams that we fail to see the masks that can conceal heartbreak, hurt and hopelessness. While there may not be much a movie or television audience can do to physically support our favorite public personalities, we can remember that they are people, too, just like we are, and just because they make their living in a public way doesn't make them immune to the everyday struggles that plague so many today.

    The upshot of this is, don't be afraid to offer someone the chance to remove the mask. Don't be afraid to listen, to care, to cry. It's one of the most amazing feelings when someone feels comfortable enough to let down that mask. It's also an amazing feeling to be allowed to help them try to dry the tears behind that mask.

    My extreme sorrow and comfort goes out to the Williams family, their friends and colleagues. While we, the audience, have lost an amazing talent, they have lost an irreplaceable part of their private and professional lives. A grateful public is in your debt for sharing him with us as long as you did.
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