Robin Williams’ Son Shared a Heartfelt Tribute to His Dad on the Anniversary of His Death
"The joy and inspiration you brought to the world carries on in your legacy."
August 11th marked the seventh anniversary of Robin Williams‘ tragic death. The beloved actor and comedian died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63. Robin’s son, Zak Williams, shared in a tweet on Wednesday a beautiful message for his late father.
“Dad, seven years ago today you passed on,” Zak, who is now 38 years old, wrote. “The joy and inspiration you brought to the world carries on in your legacy and in your family, friends, and fans you so loved. You lived to bring laughter and to help others. I will be celebrating your memory today. Love you forever.”
The Mrs. Doubtfire star’s daughter, Zelda Williams, who has followed in her dad’s footsteps and become an actress, also shared a touching message.
“Sending love out there today to all the folks navigating loss,” Zelda tweeted. “New, old, the connective tissue of that deeply human pain can be hard to bear, but I find it easier sometimes knowing how many others have felt the same sting. We’re not alone.”
Robin’s family members, including his widow Susan Schneider Williams, have previously spoken out about the importance of mental health advocacy and how they navigated the devastating loss. Zak has become an outspoken mental health advocate in recent years and is also the co-founder and CEO of Prepare Your Mind, an amino acid supplement that’s described as a “supportive anxiety and stress relief product,” no doubt inspired by his own life’s trauma.
Robin had Lewy body dementia (LBD), a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a decline in mental abilities, but he wasn’t diagnosed until after his death. The actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly before his death, which has similar symptoms to LBD.
“I have since learned that people with LBD who are highly intelligent may appear to be okay for longer initially, but then, it is as though the dam suddenly breaks and they cannot hold it back anymore,” Susan wrote in a 2016 essay for the medical journal Neurology. “In Robin’s case, on top of being a genius, he was a [Juilliard]-trained actor. I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life.”
Zak opened up about his own mental health struggles after his father’s death. “I found myself depressed, anxious, traumatized, and unable to cope with daily life,” he wrote on the website for Prepare Your Mind. He initially used alcohol and cannabis to cope with the pain but eventually got sober and found healthier ways to manage his symptoms.
Robin would undoubtedly be proud of the ways his loved ones have used their platforms to open up a dialogue about mental health and the importance of getting the right diagnoses and treatment. He is still greatly missed by not only them but the world as a whole.
If you or someone you care about is struggling and experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone who can help. You can also chat with a counselor online here. All services are free and available 24/7. Additionally, here are ways you can help loved ones struggling with depression.