Yesterday, a part of my childhood died; a segment of some small and special reserve of purity that was crafted by the many ways in which Robin Williams contributed to the characters I grew up with and adored. In truth, August 11th will stand as a day in which we all lost a hero. And although the Facebook statuses, memes, and montages are all fine ways in which to remember Robin, the truth is that in the end they are all somewhat trite.
Rather than superficially remembering this man whom we all loved with mere words, I believe that the best way in which we can all remember and honor Robin is by emulating the pantheon of characters he contributed to and created. As a tribute to this icon, let us care for the sick like Patch, love our spouse like Armand, or sacrifice anything for our children like Mrs. Doubtfire. May we guard the purity of youth like Peter, lift up the downtrodden like Adrian, or slave to grant others dreams like a Genie. Beyond the characters themselves, in remembering Robin’s own life, may we learn to laugh amid a shroud of sorrow, defeat the addictions that seek to enslave us, and be a conduit of joy in a world so deeply broken.
Robin Williams many be gone, but his spirit may live on and take new meaning in us all if we learn from his life and allow our grief to turn to action. Yesterday, we may have lost a great man, but his life speaks to the amazing ways in which God may use each of us and our talents to better the world. If we move ourselves to act in the light of this tragedy, then Robin’s life and the characters he crafted may not simply become fond memories, but a catalyst for true change in the world.