Yesterday marked what would have been Robin Williams’ 68th birthday, and his son, Zak Williams, is remembering back on supporting his father’s emotional struggles.
“It was sad to see someone who was suffering so. As a family member and a child, you want to do everything you can to help soothe and ease what seemed to be intense personal pain,” he reveals.
Robin Williams, who took his own life in 2014, kept his personal struggles largely private - even from his family.
“Amongst those people who were close to him, we all loved him so and found it difficult because he wasn’t always open to sharing his personal pain and struggle,” Zak said.
But even knowing only a portion of the depths of his father’s struggles, Zak still found himself scrambling to help in any way he could.
“There were times where it felt like there was helplessness from my part. I didn’t know what I could do or how I could be of the best support,” Zak remembers.
Despite feeling at a loss when it came to helping his father, Zak remembers the joy his father found in performing and being a source of light for others.
“It was heartbreaking because he still went out and wanted to share his feelings of laughter and humor with the world. And while he was suffering and struggling, he still went out and performed,” Zak recalls.
RADIO.COM’s I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.