I think if you asked every improvisor who has ever stood on a stage and made people laugh when they first believed such a thing was possible, the name Robin Williams would show up in their story somewhere.
Robin Williams showed the world how to laugh and showed us that we could share laughter with each other. How many of us were struck by that powerful yet simple notion as children? How many of us learned that we could give our parents and our friends the gift of laughter when they were sad? That’s powerful magic. He taught us that. He shaped our lives in a wonderful way and the lives of those we love in wonderful ways.
When we lose the people who were powerful impacts on our lives, we are sad for the loss, for the absence of that wonderful thing. But the beautifully unique thing about Robin Williams is that the good thing he brought into our lives was to face sadness with joy and laughter. It’s not surprising that Mork and Peter Pan are the two characters I’ve heard mentioned the most today, because every time we see him perform, we feel younger and more filled with childlike wonder.
We will all be sad tonight, and tomorrow we will return to bringing smiles and laughter to those who came to escape their own bad days. We will carry forward that laughter and keep his memory strong. And I hope somewhere he is laughing with us.
I know Facebook is already filled with tales, but feel free to share your own personal stories of Robin Williams and how he made a special place in your life.
Goodnight, Neverland. Thank you for believing.