Robin Williams was a man who could make everyone laugh. Sadly though, his loss and absence will be a tragedy that the world can never get over.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on March 26, 2021. It has since been updated.
Robin Williams was more than a brilliant actor bringing joy to people's lives. He was a husband who tried his best to do right by his wife even as he struggled with his inner demons. And that included giving his wife, Susan Schneider Williams, a beautiful weekend doing everything they loved together... right before his life came to an end. In the second weekend of August 2014, Susan was starting to think that the "terrorist" in her husband's brain was finally leaving. But it hadn't and though what she went through was intensely "personal" and "heartbreaking", she opened up about his passing in the hopes that it could help others suffering from the same condition that her husband had been fighting.
"As you may know, my husband Robin Williams had the little-known but deadly Lewy body disease (LBD)," she wrote for Neurology. "He died from suicide in 2014 at the end of an intense, confusing, and relatively swift persecution at the hand of this disease's symptoms and pathology."
She mentioned that his death came as a shock because she was starting to note a difference in him. "As the second weekend in August approached, it seemed his delusional looping was calming down," she wrote. "Maybe the switch in medications was working. We did all the things we love on Saturday day and into the evening, it was perfect—like one long date. By the end of Sunday, I was feeling that he was getting better."
However, unbeknownst to her at the time, before they went to sleep, Robin spoke his final words to her. And those words still echoed in her mind long after his death. Susan wrote, "When we retired for sleep, in our customary way, my husband said to me, 'Goodnight, my love,' and waited for my familiar reply: 'Goodnight, my love.' His words still echo through my heart today. Monday, August 11, Robin was gone."
At age 63, the much-loved actor - whose life was a rollercoaster ride - had passed. "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," Susan shared in a statement, according to RadarOnline.com. "On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."
And after the Dead Poet's Society star's death, she said she found it strenuous to even go through her normal everyday routine without him. She wrote, "After Robin left, time has never functioned the same for me. My search for meaning has replicated like an inescapable spring throughout nearly every aspect of my world, including the most mundane."
Speaking to ABC News' Amy Robach, when asked if time had helped with her pain, all she said was, "[The pain] … just all of it will never go. It's the best love I ever dreamed of."
Just days before his death, Robin put up his last post on social media platform Instagram dedicated to his daughter, Zelda Rae Williams, reported WGN-TV. He wrote, "...Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!"
When Zelda was called to speak about his death on NBC's Today Show reported by BBC, she said, "We don't have an explanation. There's no point questioning it... blaming yourself or the world. It happened." Continuing, she added, "Anybody who has ever lost anyone works very hard to continue that memory in a positive way." And his loss isn't just felt by his loved ones.
The world, who was entertained by this brilliant man was shattered by his loss. "A lot of people feel his absence," said his daughter. "The side of him that people know and love... is the characters that he had so much fun being," Zelda explained. "I do think that's what a lot of people will hold on to. That's not going anywhere. They knew a dad that he was proud of them knowing. Laughter was incredibly important to him."
Rest in peace, Robin Williams!