The demons awakened
Robin Williams, one of my favorite comedians and actors died last week. His death was self-inflicted. My husband's first cousin also died. He caught the garter at our wedding. His death was natural, but died way too young as a consequence of unhealthy life choices. Robin was born of privilege, was basically an insecure child, but rose to fame, power and influence through his comedic genius and bringing the stories of laughter, and raw honesty to the screen. He was loved by his family and by millions of strangers. He had unlimited resources. Our cousin was born to what many today would call very modest means, probably was insecure, never married or had children, and was known to only those whom he associated. His resources were severely limited. Robin's death is played out day after day in the media, recounted stories, tears streaming, undescribable sadness. Our cousin is remembered by his brother who cries out on the social media about his loss and the knowledge that his future is without his older sibling. However, they had several similarities, they both died alone, no doubt were lonely, and had a host of demons. Life's challenges, emotional roller coasters, and alienation have no bias. They creep into the psyche of each one of us whether we are rich, poor, educated, or not, influential or of little consequence because it reduces even the most powerful to hopelessness and despair. Demons can be in the shape of jealousy, lust, addiction, abuse, vanity, or a host of other "tapes" that seep into our consciousness and scream to be heard and placated. I worked with the emotionally challenged for twenty years and still have few solutions to quieting the voices that drive many to the brink of self harm, social alienation or even to death. Some can co-habitate within individuals because they do not affect functioning, but other demons interfere with even the simplest of social connections or tasks. I strive for the answer, not for me, but for my children, grandchildren and "S" who I am reparenting. I want the demons lying within to be smashed like bugs and flushed down the drain, but I have little in the way of professional awareness to keep them at bay. But within my heart and through personal experience I realize that one must first recognize the demon and how it affects the life of self or others, and secondly must want to initiate a change. Equally as important, one must reach out to another for help and lean on the support of the other until peace and happiness replace the chaos of the mind. Both Robin and our cousin have finally found that inner calm, but I truly wish it could have been within their earthly days for the sake of those who love them.
Garden Ridge, Texas