Like the rest of the world, I am feeling searing grief at the loss of Robin Williams.
He was a treasure in human form, a gift that made us feel good.
But worse than his death is the revelation of the pain he suffered throughout his life. Depression is debilitating and irrational yet for the sufferer it is very real and very serious. It throws a shroud of darkness over even the happiest occasions and relationships.
The people who suffer from depression don’t show their wounds on the surface so we can’t fully appreciate the depth of their despair.
They look perfectly normal: they may even make us laugh as Robin Williams did. Yet inside they long for some measure of relief from their affliction, just a moment’s peace.
In a world where value is measured in things, clearly the most valuable thing to possess is peace of mind. And for the rest of us, we would feel very blessed indeed if we could find some way to provide relief or peace of mind to those who suffer.
Robin Williams made us laugh while he cried, and from his final act comes a profound message to the rest of us.
We all know someone who suffers from depression.
While we may feel helpless because we cannot cure their condition, we can help ease their burden by giving them compassion and supportive friendship.
It is within our power to make a very big difference to someone we care about in our little corner of the world.
Marc Burchell, Surrey