- Posted August 13, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Robin Williams In Iraq
I had the privilege of hanging out with Robin Williams for a few hours when he visited Sather AB in Iraq as the headliner of a USO show. It was without doubt a highlight of my life and left me with such an indelible impression of the man. He was delightful to be around. One could clearly see that he truly cared about the troops he was entertaining. I mentioned to him that I could tell he loved the adulation of the crowd, and he responded "it's a great day job if you can get it!" Robin took the time to take pictures with hundreds of the troops and contractors. Everyone was there to see him, and he knew it. He thrived on it. He loved it. And everyone who was there to see him loved him as well. Robin seemed so happy. In fact, he mentioned that he did not even mind sharing a room with Louis Black.
Not long after, I moved to Bagram AF, Afghanistan. I had hoped that one day he would visit here, but sadly that never happened.
The other morning when I woke up I immediately Skyped with my wife rather than check the news and sports first as I usually do. She asked if I had seen the news yet, and I told her no. "Bad news", she told me. "Robin Williams is dead". My heart sank. "He committed suicide", she followed up with. Disbelief was my first response. How could a man who appeared so happy, a man who seemed to be enjoying life so fully on that day in Iraq, have committed suicide? Immediately I went to CNN to check the news. There on my computer screen in big, bold letters, was the headline screaming at me that Robin Williams was dead. A sub-line said "suicide". I was devastated.
A lot of people cannot understand the way I feel about Robin Williams' death. Those people never met him; they never had the privilege of chatting with him, like he was an old friend. And that is how I felt when told Robin was dead, like I had just lost an old, dear friend. I don't know if he would have remembered me had we ever met again. I doubt he would, but that's OK. It was his gift to make an impression on us, not the other way around.
Robin Williams will never be forgotten. He leaves behind a legacy that will remain unmatched most likely for eternity. Robin was a special soul who could make us laugh, or cry, or cry laughing. He was brilliant. And I will miss him.