I feel compelled to write this, as I sit alone in my apartment tearfully reading through the outpouring of grief at the news of Robin Williams‘ passing. It is no dispute that he was beloved by many, and this sudden and unexpected loss of a such an icon demands to be felt. So many childhoods were molded and enriched by Mr. Williams, and mine was no exception. Jumanji, Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Aladdin, Flubber; all of these films and more are near and dear to my heart, bringing me that pure and uninhibited joy of laughter that is uniquely felt through the eyes of a child.
When my father passed away after years of battling with his illness, my world shattered. I had just turned 21, and even though I was technically an adult, I never felt younger or more lost. He was, and still is, the most important person in my life. I had experienced plenty of close losses through uncles and grandparents, and always knew from a very young age that I would lose my dad too soon. Knowing this made me cling to and cherish him all the more, a knowledge that made losing him the biggest fear in my young adult life. It has been three years since he passed away, and in that time I have become a student of grief. I have learned that while the five stages are real, they are not linear, and one can travel back and forth among them freely. Grief ebbs and flows, and while I miss my father fiercely each and every day, some days it is easier to manage that grief, and others are harder. Today has been one of those hard days.
In the sea of condolences we received after my father’s funeral, one has always stuck out amongst the rest and has brought me comfort ever since. “Though you may not see the humming-bird sing, if you listen closely, you can always hear his song.” I have looked at it as a beautiful way of expressing how a relationship with a loved one does not end with their death, but evolves.
Ashli Krieps is a 24-year-old Iowa transplant chasing her dreams studying Film & Media Production on the sunny West Coast. When not assisting everyone with their Apple products, you may find her submerged in any of numerous fandoms (Harry Potter above all), reading a book, or dancing by herself in her living room. You may check out her work on Vimeo, or follow her on Twitter & Tumblr if you feel so inclined.