“The Sadness Will Live Forever”

So said Van Gogh, and on days such as this, I am inclined to believe him. Word tonight that Robin Williams has killed himself–official COD suicide by asphyxiation. What a verse he has written; what a hole he leaves.

Williams publicly revealed his bipolar diagnosis in the mid-nineties, not long after I received my own. I had always felt connected with him, and that sealed the deal. While my mind maniacally jumped from one thing to the next, I could see his follow the same pattern in his interviews and free-associating ad-libs. His characters thirsted, railed, lived in the extreme, and the public loved him. So did I. Maybe, I thought, that was proof someone could love me too.

I had hoped that the passage of time indicated he and I had beaten the survival rate for our disease–a paltry 20%. Today was a crushing blow that reminds us how persistent the disease is, and how formidable a foe. It humbles me that I should survive while he does not. 

Love, then, to those of us who remain. Ever diligent, comrades. Write your verse. “Carpe diem. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.”

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