There has been a lot of judgment being passed over a situation of which 99% of us know nothing. That’s right, whatever documents may surface, whatever new information may come to light, no one but Robin Williams knows what happened that night that drove him to his tragic end. What bothers me the most out of all of this are the horrible judgments of people who are the self-proclaimed masters of hindsight. This is why I want to share the story of my best friend, whom I will call Peter.
Peter was and still is the one friend I needed but did not deserve. Heavy set but gentle as a mouse, he and his older brother are two of the sweetest human beings I have ever met. The last time I saw him, he was making a living filming football games for the high school. I did not know this, but at the time we met he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at roughly the same time I was. We were both in the same resource room in middle school and I met him when I had transitioned back into mainstream school after a brief stint in an off campus program, but that’s a story for another day.
One afternoon, out of nowhere Peter flipped. He began shouting and slamming his body against the wall. He repeatedly beat himself over the head with a text book and shouted “I don’t want to live, I don’t want to live.” It took two teachers to restrain him and get him to a point where he was too exhausted to move for about an hour. I only know about most of this because we talked about it later that year and I got his perspective of events.
What happened? His mother made a well intentioned error with his medication. A lot of parents get the misguided notion that they can take a slight liberty with the medications their kids are on. I’ve personally baby sat for kids who needed meds and their parents forgot to tell me so. While I can’t claim to know everything I do know that there are some pills you do not screw with. You do exactly what the instructions tell you to do until a doctor tells you otherwise, or the consequences can be varied but in no way pleasant for those involved.
Again, Peter told me all of this later on. So at the time, as an observer way off to the side, all I had to go one was the event in question without any input of my own. Mind you, I didn’t jump to conclusions because I knew Eric personally, but I have witnessed similar events from people I did not know. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have knee jerk reactions to someone having a meltdown in public or to a person experiencing delusions or other symptoms of psychosis. People always their two cents to throw in whenever they witness something like this. And everyone thinks their opinion of how a situation should be handled is the correct way, however misinformed or outdated their opinion might be.
There’s an old saying about throwing stones in glass houses. There’s also the saying about doing unto others as you would have done unto you. We don’t know what was going on in Robin Williams’ mind. No one knows but him and if there is a Higher power that judges all of these things, then it is still not our place to offer harsh judgments or retrospective quick fixes.