Praying for Strangers

An adventure of the human spirit

Dear Robin

An open letter to a dead man.

Dear Robin,

They say it's never too late to make amends but they are wrong. I'm too late. Your gone and these words went unsaid.

In the spirit of Hell just might be paved with my unwritten letters, and maybe, just maybe, writing this one will light a fire under my rear to write all the other people who feed me laughter, wit, and share graciously their creativity, so be it.

I understand from the news machine you died last night. I disagree. I'd like to protest, sir this possibility. You of all people should know that you have existed in the realm of our lifes along with the immortals. Make us laugh. Make us sing. Do a dance. Distract us and carry us into that other realm you so easily bestow on those of us who take kindly to your good medicine.

But somewhere along the way, your good medicine failed you. And, from that dark corner of your mind, you've taken your final bow.

Still, I wish to say thank you for bringing one like-minded in that silent storm to a place of laughter. That's no easy task for me. Not now. Not ever. Yet, you did it, man. From your silly antics of Mork and Mindy days to your  wild Disney ride on that magic carpet (my son memorized your entire part of the movie word for singing word) to the Mrs. Doubtfire moments full of family friendly fare.

 And then there's you, up there alone on that stage bringing down the house - you raunchy thing.

But for all the laughter, all of it, it's the roles you played that were a shade of darker nuance that captivated me. The ones that haunt me still. You in Good Morning Vietnam, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King. Brilliant sir. Just f'ing brilliant. For those moments in those movies where the pain of being human, of surviving, is so luminous and real, I thank you.

One more thing.

When my son was on the first of many of his deployments, and providing security for you in Turkey when you traveled to entertain the Marines. You didn't have to do that, did you? Your life held enough OohRah already. But there you were making the guys laugh, and visiting the wounded.  For that alone, I should have written, dropped a note, sealed it to the fates of wind and postal graces - trusting it to make it's way through the slush pile and red-tape of your fame.

But I did not.

Just on the outside chance that Einstein was right about that time flow thing. About the circle of beginning and ending, about those endless possibilities of time folding into time, I'm tossing out these words to you in the hopes that they bizarrely make their way into that great space across the dimensional divine of frozen hell and good intention.

 Peace, brother as you travel into that light.

(Here's a link to son's facebook page who gives due credit to Robin Williams and brings attention to the fact that 23 veterans a day commit suicide.)

River Jordan is a playwright and novelist in Nashville.

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