This is what life without Robin Williams is like.
There is a missing peace.
There is a missing knowing that out of nowhere he could suddenly appear, just like a genie, and literally explode like a Chinese firecracker or a Mexican pinada or a bottle of Russian champagne into any number of rubber faced people with any number of rib tickling silly voices.
We don't have to see people every day to know that they are there, waiting to make us feel happy and special. We don't have to be places, cities or towns, in order to remember how wonderful they make you feel.
But at least we have options. We know that if we wanted to we can have a chocolate bar whenever we feel like it. It just takes minimal effort for some of the great rewards.
But cartoon characters and imaginary friends and daffy clowns are not supposed to die. That is simply not their domain. That is unimaginable. Job one is to be there in perpetuity, just like the memory stories that we carry deep within our hearts where our own childhood lives forever. No one can take away our memories and no one should ever take away anyone who delights the child in us because they are our partners in keeping our childhood protected and alive.
Their purpose is to keep us distracted; impervious to the pain of everyday life. Buddyguards. They are like spirited, juggling Mrs. Doubtfires who are their to offer us whimsy.
So when they are forcibly removed from our lives it disrupts the entire fabric of our belief system. As you get older even the word "forever" begins to disappear, like a slow moving magic trick, because in the gut of your gut you know that it was just represented a concept that is meant to bolster the optimism and ambition of young people and casual romantics.
Losing "forever" is one of the single most difficult and painful part of life.
When someone like Robin Williams dies it prematurely speeds up life and forces you to stare down directly into the face of mortality. You feel frightened and helpless because, spoiler alert: you are very, very mortal. You always are and will always be.
Safety and protection are two other word myths that begin to vaporize as well.
You are startled into submission and shocked by the fact of how vulnerable and temporary everything is. If a megastar can hang himself from the torment of life with a belt in a Northern California bedroom, just how safe and secure are you?
The boogie man was never under your bed. He has always been lying there, right next to you, with the ability to smother you with fear and apprehension at any given moment.
So what do we do, we who have been left behind in the comet trail of someone else's brilliance who has left us so suddenly that he literally took all our collected breath with him? How can we even think straight when someone THAT full of life is suddenly THAT dead and gone. It's a math equation that simply cannot be solved. It makes no sense and sadly, it makes all the sense in the world.
That story is officially over, the book has been closed for the last time and no one will ever, ever read it to you again.
We are left with the pain that he could not tolerate.
For me, I write. I expose these feelings and hope that someone out there will commune with me. Some will turn to their partners. Many will turn to God, or the stars or simply distract themselves until the rabid chained to the ground snarling, snapping dog is finally released and runs back to join the pack in the great beyond of the wilds.
Robin let go and sooner or later so will you. When faced with unbearable tragedy, we have to become millions of tiny sailboats, carrying millions of memorial candles and let them sail off into the unimaginable, breathtaking unknown.
Because sooner or later that is where we all will be headed anyway. So while you are here, draw in your circle of friends a little bit closer. Don't keep staring at your phone like it's Ramadan 24/7 and adda little smile and eye contact to your daily routine. Acknowledge who is here and sooner or later you will feel less alone because we never are.
We are here for each other.