Robin Williams: A Certain Sadness

The world was stunned by the death of Robin Williams and devastated by the manner in which he died.

Robin Williams is the same age as me, which means that I grew up watching almost everything he appeared in. Watching “Mork and Mindy” was like having him in my home, greeting me and making sure I went to bed with a smile on my face.

With his exuberant and frantic style of comedy, I wondered what kind of personal life he had. What did he do to “wind down”? So it was quite a relief and pleasure to watch him as a dramatic actor; my favorite being his role in “Dead Poets Society.”

He was an icon and role model for so many people despite problems in his personal life because he made us laugh. He actually never made us stop laughing. Like an Energizer bunny, he kept going and going, until there were tears in our eyes from so much laughing. He made us forget our sorrows. How come he couldn’t forget his own sorrows?

Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy (Source:

Robin Williams and Pam Dawber as Mork and Mindy (Source:

His death by suicide makes us think about how fragile our own lives are and of those around us who may be suffering from depression. Did we give enough kindness and compassion to others? Will we leave a legacy that our families and others would be proud of? Did we make this world a better place?

By all accounts, Robin Williams was a kind and compassionate person. He was an artistic genius who shared his talents with everybody, even if it meant his own sadness. He was very generous, helping so many who needed help, especially the homeless. He was a good father and friend. We saw him as an extraordinary human being, but we didn’t realize how deeply his feet were buried in clay.

I am no stranger to depression and suicide, but I prefer to dwell on the positivity of life. And although I know how life can be like walking on a tightrope sometimes, I just need to be sure that the good will always get the better of me, even how sad I may be.

Dead Poets Society (Source:

Dead Poets Society (Source:

There is a quote from Peter Pan, a role Williams played in the movie, “Hook”: “Never say goodbye because saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting.”

I will look for Robin Williams and replay his movies again and again, especially when I need to feel good. Hope to finally meet him in the next life.

“Finnipino” Marsha Garces Pays Tribute to Her Ex-Husband  

Robin Williams, Marsha Garces with children Zelda and Cody in 2005. (Source: International Business Times/Reuters)

Robin Williams, Marsha Garces with children Zelda and Cody in 2005. (Source: International Business Times/Reuters)

"My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you. Please remember the gentle, loving, generous – and yes, brilliant and funny – man that was Robin Williams. My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss."

Garces was born in San Francisco, USA, to a Filipino father Leon Panteleon Garces from Bohol, and a Finnish mother. She was married to Robin Williams for 19 years until their divorce in 2008. They have two children, Zelda and Cody.

Williams once jokingly described Marsha as “Finnipino,” according to Philippine News columnist Janet Nepales.

In an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ruben V. Nepales in November 2011, Robin Williams underscores his Filipino connection:

“The actor used the Pinoy accent when he said the name, Leon Pantaleon Garces, the Filipino father of his ex-wife, Marsha Garces. 'He was a great man,' Robin fondly said of Leon, who died during his birthday party (he was in his 90s). Naturally, Robin couldn’t help but quip, 'But, at least he had a great party!'

“'Big time,' Robin answered when we asked if his kids with Marsha—Zelda, 22, and Cody, 19—keep in touch with the Filipino side of their family. 'Very much so, because of Marsha. My ex-father-in-law, Leon, was amazing. They keep up with the Filipino part of my family.'”  

Dante Basco's Farewell Video Letter to Robin Williams

Fil-Am actor Dante Basco honored his "Hook" co-star with this tribute on Youtube.

More articles from Mona Lisa Yuchengco:

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May 8, 2013
How to make it up to a departed loved one.

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June 12, 2013
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Pinoyspotting: You Speak Tagalog In The Canadian Rockies
July 22, 2014
You can find compatriots working in the unlikeliest places, like western Canada’s wilds.