Monday night, I went to check my email, and Yahoo news reported that Robin Williams had died. I was so shocked, I gasped and blurted it out to hubby before realizing that William was in earshot. He took a strong interest, probably because of the name Williams. He understands about death and that sometimes it just happens whether by old age, poor health, or accident.
But then he asked, “How did he die?” Hubby and I looked at each other. We silently agreed that six was too tender an age to learn about suicide.
I wish I had Robin Williams’ wit. He would have turned the question around to something hilarious. We took the lame route. “We’ll explain when you’re older.”
A couple of days later, William made it funny by accident. He asked, “Did they take that actor you like to the White House and bury him in the sand?”
Oh! Ha! One of the boys’ favorite songs is Harry Belafonte’s “John Henry.” When John Henry dies at the end, they take him to the White House and bury him in the sand.
If William were older, and had seen Patch Adams, I would have quoted my favorite line from that movie. “And if we bury you [backside] up, I have got a place to park my bike.” I can only imagine the kind of gags Robin Williams would have come up with after being compared to John Henry.
While we are deeply saddened that Robin Williams suffered silently, we are also deeply grateful for the brilliant fun, humor, and wisdom he so generously gave us. The world is that much brighter because he was alive.
I’d love to hear from you!
What is your favorite Robin Williams line or moment? Have you ever had to explain suicide to a six-year-old? How did you handle it?
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