Zak Williams appeared on Prince Harry's docu-series on mental health, The Me You Can't See: A Path Forward.
Losing a parent is one of the most painful experiences one can ever endure. Recently, Zak Williams, the son of the legendary actor Robin Williams, spoke of how the sudden demise of his father left him in a dark place.
According to People, appearing on Prince Harry's docu-series on mental health, The Me You Can't See: A Path Forward, Zak bonded with the Prince over their shared experiences of losing a parent.
The 38-year-old stated, "For my end, it was really hard to separate the initial process of privately grieving versus sharing the grieving with the general public, both the American public and the world." He continued, "I had trouble differentiating that grieving process at first. It was really challenging for me. I found myself really emotionally dysregulated, feeling vulnerable and exposed when I wasn't ready to be vulnerable. That created a major challenge for me."
Robin Williams died on August 11, 2014. Though his close family knew of his struggles with depression and other personal issues, they did not imagine him taking his own life.
Speaking to Harry, Williams revealed that he only began to grieve in private a year and a half after the death of his father. He said, "I didn't recognize that I needed to grieve privately, and so I'm very thankful and appreciative that I did recognize how to set boundaries, I hope they're health boundaries, around grieving personally versus grieving as a community, grieving with the public, grieving with the world."
Looking back, Williams stated that he needed that. After Williams shared his experiences with grief, Harry stated that he could relate to his emotional and mental struggle. Having lost his mother, Princess Diana at the age of 12, Harry went through a similar ordeal.
"I think we have a lot of shared experience when you talk about that, when you see so many people around the world grieving for someone they feel as though they knew them better than you did in a weird way because you're unable to grieve yourself," said the Duke of Sussex. The 36-year-old continued, "How are you showing more, more sort of, how are you grieving more for someone who is my parent and I'm unable to grieve myself?"
Previously in the series, Harry disclosed that it took him a long time to get in touch with his buried feelings.
"I don't want to think about her, because if I think about her then it's going to bring up the fact that I can't bring her back and it's just going to make me sad," said Harry. He continued, "What's the point in thinking about something sad, what's the point of thinking about someone that you've lost and you're never going to get back again. And I just decided not to talk about it. No one was talking about it."
Williams, too, has spoken of the painful days that followed his dad's death. In an interview with People in October 2020, Williams revealed that his father's death left him "traumatized." However, as days went by, he consciously took the initiative to heal from the grief and improve his mental health.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Neilson Barnard and (R) Scott Gries