Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The last week

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


Jean Grey said...

That is a wonderful video! It made my day.

Just Me Jen said...

I know! I had never heard of this before (I was so, so sick back at that time) and I have watched it several times now. It made me cry so hard when I finished it and read that this was her first happy after her friend gorilla's death and I cried again seeing how sad she was when she overhead Robin Williams had died.

Michal McAllister said...

What a beautiful comment you made about Robin Williams!!

I heard some stories about Koko and Robin's encounter. She apparently was told that a friend died and she expressed sadness.

Good to hear from you, dear Jen!


Michal McAllister said...

Wow, I can't help but think Robin had to be very brave to interact so closely with Koko. The massive hug at the end was adorable. I was most impressed by the way Robin observed Koko eye to eye without threatening her in any way. Such respect...