Unlike most kids who lose a parent too soon, Robin Williams’ daughter, Zelda Williams, is mourning the sudden and untimely death of her father with her family, friends, and. . . the entire world. Which would be hard enough, even if everyone was playing nice. Since her dad’s passing on Monday, the 25-year-old has been using social media as a way to communicate with the public—to first honor him and acknowledge his death, and then to graciously thank everyone for their continued love and support. The outpouring of love and support has been staggering—people have not only shown support over thousands of comments and messages, but donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, an organization that was very important to Robin and his family, have been flooding in.
But not everyone has been supportive—and this behavior is really appalling. Two heartless Twitter users, who Twitter has since suspended, sent Zelda awful, seemingly Photoshopped images of her dad after his death. In a Twitter post that she has since deleted, Zelda asked her followers to “Please report @PimpStory @MrGoosebuster. I’m shaking. I can’t. Please. Twitter requires a link and I won’t open it. Don’t either. Please.” Whether the pictures were real or not, it’s absolutely disgusting and a sad sign of our times that Zelda was the victim of Internet trolls in this incredibly tough moment. Her relationship with her dad was also judged over social media platforms, with users questioning her love for her dad because she didn’t post enough picture of him over the years on Instagram. Ugh.
Zelda has rightfully decided to quit social media for a while. After she deleted the tweet, she followed up by saying, “I’m sorry. I should’ve risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.” I can’t imagine what it must feel like to receive such disturbing messages from complete strangers. Removing herself from the situation is such a smart, admirable and mature thing for her to do.
She posted a touching message on her Twitter and Tumblr pages, which you can read in its entirety here. It’s clear from this that Zelda isn’t lacking her dad’s sense of humor. She noted that for all the people sending negativity, her dad is sending a flock of pigeons to their homes to poop on their cars, right after a car wash. I hope she’s right.
Zelda also added this message to her Instagram account:
“I will be leaving this account for a but [sic] while I heal and decide if I’ll be deleting it or not. In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary. There are a couple throughout, but the real private moments I shared with him were precious, quiet, and believe it or not, not full of photos or ‘selfies’. I shared him with a world where everyone was taking their photo with him, but I was lucky enough to spend time with him without cameras too. That was more than enough, and I’m grateful for what little time I had. My favorite photos of family are framed in my house, not posted on social media, and they’ll remain there. They would’ve wound up on the news or blogs then, and they certainly would now. That’s not what I want for our memories together. Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo”
To lose a parent is awful and terrible and possibly one of the hardest things a person will ever have to go through—I know, because I’ve been through it. But to lose a parent under these circumstances is far worse than anything I can imagine. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS. Zelda is handling everything with such grace—we salute her and we support her.
Whenever you return to social media. Zelda, we’ll be the first ones to give you a smile.