Editor, Times-Union:
Robin Williams’ untimely death saddened and shocked me. An incredibly talented man, he made us laugh, cry and temporarily forget our worries. My heart aches for his family.
I was unaware that he suffered from depression and addictions. As I watched reports on accomplishments mined from movies and friends, I wished for an opportunity to publicly explore hope and the afterlife from our historically Christian perspective. Once woven into our public consciousness, that perspective has now been muzzled by fear of offending anyone, even at the expense of permanent results.
Why did Robin Williams plummet into a pit of hopelessness that had no bottom? Drugs apparently only offered temporary relief but with a horrible aftertaste. Medications were not enough either.
Possible reasons for his suicide are many. Plus mental illness is complicated. There are no easy answers even for professionals.
This tragedy can lead us to question our own lives. If many wonderful attributes and accomplishments can’t deeply satisfy, what might? Where do I find hope when my distractions no longer work? Could I be missing a personal connection with God for which I was created?
If this life is a preparation for the next, then how do I get ready? What provisions have already been made? Am I willing to seek absolute versus subjective truth?
I hope each reader will entertain these questions. If you are interested in exploring what Jesus Christ had to say about hope and the way he made to open the door to eternal hope, even in the midst of deep pain, you could read St. John’s gospel. It is only one of many books in the Bible that speak to hope and eternal life.
It could be time well spent to prepare for stepping out beyond time.
Paula Gast
MA, Pastoral Psychology and Counseling
Warsaw, via email