Today the Marin County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference offering up the gory details regarding the death of Robin Williams. He was found having hanged himself by his personal assistant. He was found “clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, and with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet door and door frame,” Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd said.
There were cuts on the inside of his left wrist and a pocket knife found nearby with what appeared to be dried blood. It was, however, determined asphyxiation was the ultimate cause of his death, though his battle with severe depression should not in the least bit be discounted.
To read those details almost forces us to focus on the cause of his death. Asking how someone who brought so much joy in the world could have so much sadness in his heart? There are no definitive answers to such a situation and such wide open questions, but just now I received some statements from Williams’ children and loved ones that can help us look beyond the cause and look back at what made us all appreciate Williams so much.
Below are the statements from Robin Williams’ three children Zak, Zelda and Cody Williams, as well as from Robin’s former wife (and mother to Zelda and Cody) Marsha Garces Williams, as well as the previously released statement from Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider.
“Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day. I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought.” ~ Zak Williams
“My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare. My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments. While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…
Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.” ~ Zelda Williams
“There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.” ~ Cody Williams
“My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you. Please remember the gentle, loving, generous – and yes, brilliant and funny – man that was Robin Williams. My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss.” – Marsha Garces Williams
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.” – Susan Schneider