I just have so little to say. It's been a quiet week mostly. I saw my doctor a week ago for a check-up and he asked me what nobody ever dares to ask: Do I miss work? That question was so kind and his response was so kind (and I didn't cry!) that it has been a happy thing to think about ever since. I can't recall the last time someone asked that, probably because everyone (including Dr Body) knows that it may cause me to cry uncontrollably. That question set the week apart.
I've also thought a lot about Robin Williams. I happened to catch an early headline about his death and it didn't say more than he was dead. I added "of suicide". I might have gone along without thinking as much about it but there was a lot of facebook controversy over with an extended family member about whether suicide is a choice. (You can search and find the offending blog post that led to the discussion; I'm not going to link to it and help the person who wrote it get more clicks and more ad revenue). It was respectful but my comments made me clarify my thinking a lot.
And then my mom told me something about this video with Robin Williams and Koko, the gorilla who knows over 1000 signs. I am something of a sucker for Koko because I had to learn sign language when I was a camp counselor and I know how very difficult it is. The 3rd year I was proficient enough to communicate well enough to get through 2 weeks with difficulty as opposed to SEVERE and moderate difficulty the first 2 years but even though I was conversant for a short while I have lost most of it. It's not easy. And so I watched the video and then read that Koko's smile is the first she had made since her companion of 27 years had died 6 months before. I also saw pictures of Koko mourning her friend. And so the gorilla made me think a lot more. So this a variation of what I posted on Facebook:
I think that this is what we most need to
think of.....how this man was amazing, and how he did things that go so
far beyond the usual human experience, despite his extreme pain and
suffering in life and despite the horrible tragedy of his ultimate
death. He made a mourning gorilla smile and from all account this is
how he interacted with the world. What happened to him in the end does
speak volumes about what suffering mental illness causes. But how he
lived speaks volumes about the strength that overcomes mental illness in
the daily lives of so many who suffer from it.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com