11/14/14 Not Drawing Conclusions: Robin William’s Death

I few days ago it was revealed that Robin Williams had Lewy Body Syndrome, a form of dementia similar to Alzheimer’s, but resulting in more severe bouts with depression, outward hostility, and sometimes death from suicide.

I looked at the many past published expressions of grief, including ones that implied there was something wrong with Robin Williams’ decision to end his own life. Implicit in their words was the belief that “If I were him, I wouldn’t have committed suicide,” and well-meaning concern about what his action did to his family.

I doubt if any of these people know what happens to a person’s identity with this cruel disease. I wonder how often they also made judgments about the behaviors of others they didn’t understand—including family and friends. It’s a  “gray world” we live in where what we think is true, often isn’t.

One Response

  1. April Smith

    My mother had this disease and it was heart breaking to see what it did to her. She changed into a person I no longer Knew. Family members who did not live close had no clue of how she really suffered. Many family members still to this day believe I was lying about her change in mood , actions, and behavoiors. I lost my mom when the disease took over her mind and body. Her death was a blessing. She suffered a lot in just a few years. And once her suffering ended … she finally had peace. Lewey Body Dementia is a terrible condition to watch a loved one go through. She has been gone for 2 years now. But as far as I am concerned she has been gone much longer. Her first hospital stay was in 2007 after being on strong pain medications for stress fracture in her spine. it was if her mind just snapped. She would scream from hallucinations she had. She would think she was in some far away isle. She would talk to people that were no where near. She would cry for hours and hours, She became violent . She would hit, bite, kick. None of these were any where close to the loving person she had always been. I miss her daily . I still cry and wish I had known this disease was to take her from me. I would have spent more time doing the things she enjoyed and laugh with her.

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About The Author

I am an author of eight books in four languages. LESSONS FOR THE LIVING: STORIES OF FORGIVENESS, GRATITUDE AND COURAGE AT THE END OF LIFE is my memoir of being a bedside hospice volunteer for six years while battling prostate cancer. My next book, LEANING INTO SHARP POINTS: PRACTICAL GUIDANCE AND NURTURING SUPPORT FOR CAREGIVERS will be published in March, 2012 by New World Library and focus on caregiving for loved ones who have a progressive or terminal illness.