MARYAM SEROUR

I don’t think a single one of us didn’t consider how kick ass life would be if we had a genie by our side. Even whilst watching Jumanji in between crapping your pants, we would’ve still killed to be a part of that game (except when it came to the dog sized spiders…so much nope). Even once we decided to grow up and take ourselves a little more seriously and steer away from Disney movies (for however brief a period it was till you were back to singing ‘Let it go’), the likes of Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting taught us at no point in life do we ever stop learning or should we ever want to.

Robin Williams brought to life an assortment of different characters and was the perfect example of both a teacher and a lesson. He taught us the importance of freedom and to never take too seriously the confines of our genie lamps. He taught us to laugh at ourselves in the face of failure, or in his case, a face full of flubber. We learned how important it is to believe in redemption if you worked hard enough for it, and the significance of being whoever you wanted to be – 60 year old woman? Easy peasy.

If the genie from Alaadin can suffer from it, then it becomes clear that depression doesn’t discriminate. Depression is a curse that sensitive people live with. Or die from. It remains to be a serious issue and sadly the existence of mental health illnesses till today and sadly aren’t nearly as understood or even acknowledged as say, the latest Kardashian nip slip. Robin Williams himself said in happier times: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

Depression is still a taboo subject, it’s seen as a disease of civilisation but it’s not, it’s in a broken mind. Perhaps the only solice we can take from this tragedy might be to bring attention that those who suffer from depression can’t be stereotyped into a small fragment of society but it may affect us all at some points in our lives. It is not shameful, nor dishonourable and it happens to the strongest and happiest of us. Robin Williams’ death was a shock to us all. To come to terms with the idea that the funniest, happiest man of our childhood felt such sadness and pain that was so concealed from us, highlights how much a broken smile can hide.

Nevertheless, it makes no sense to focus on his end but rather the importance of celebrating his ability to always bring a smile, a cackle or even a light hearted snort to many children’s lives.

In his words “Please, don't worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting… Make your life spectacular.”

For whatever the reason it was your time, and maybe, just maybe more lives will have been saved as a result of this final twist of your own life story…Or perhaps he’s just in a jungle somewhere, waiting for someone to roll a 5 or an 8.

However amazing an icon he was, his death brought to life a very important issue.