Many of us over the North side of Fifty can recall a beautiful song from the early 1970’s sung by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, entitled “Tears of A Clown.” The song described the challenges that one man faced when seeking to show a joyful persona in the wake of his breakup with his girlfriend. One stanza in the song states, “there’s some sad things known to man, but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around.”
The recent death of Actor/Comedian/Humanitarian Robin Williams, at his own hands…has elevated the conversation that no one ever wants to discuss: MENTAL HEALTH DISEASE. It is likely an issue, like cancer, HIV and Alzheimer’s Disease…that has affected each and every family in some capacity. Yet, we all are so surprised and stunned when that person whom we thought had it all together; the life of the party, had the nice car, great family and house…and now they are found to have taken their own life. What sadness and emptiness must they have felt…and we missed.
My family is not unique. We have faced the demon of self-destruction for more than 3 generations. It is still something than we are uncomfortable talking about, yet, we know that it is like the elephant in the room. We all see it…but no one cares to address. My maternal grandfather committed suicide, and it left an indelible scar upon my Mother for the remainder of her life. I have battled depression for much of my adult life…and am grateful to have family and friends who have kept me grounded, and provided unconditional love and support, when my life felt like it was unraveling.
I ask that we all take a moment, and think of someone, family friend or acquaintance, whom has lost the sparkle in their eye. Who has stopped coming around, and returning the phone calls. May we slow down long enough to really listen when we ask, “how are you doing?” It might be a life-saving moment for them. Be present…and loving. Listen with your HEART.
Here’s a fine article that I wanted to share with you, and then challenge you to make the call today. The life you save may be closer than you might imagine.