“Goodnight, Vietnam” by Andrew C.

This is a short essay written by Bag & Bored comrade Andrew C. concerning the loss of comedian Robin Williams.  Not only was Williams a wonderful talent, he was also an avid comic book fan - especially the Batman comics.  And he knew his stuff, proven by such things as his insightful thoughts on the depth and importance of the 1989 Graphic Novel “Arkham Asylum”.  Here is one fan’s thoughts.  Wonderful artwork provided by Justin INVI Vilonna.

Goodnight Vietnam
By Andrew C.

I’d remained silent as my social media news feeds overflowed with tributes following the news of the untimely and tragic passing of Robin Williams; searching for the words I might use to pay tribute in my own way. Like most, my life was greatly enriched by this unfathomably talented man whom unbeknownst to most of the public, was suffering greatly inside by demons only he could know; demons all too familiar though to those who suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety.

For those that have never wrestled with these demons, it’s hard to understand why or how anyone could get to the point where taking their own life appears to be the only solution.  In the case of Robin Williams, that sense of confusion was compounded by the stark dichotomy of his public and private lives; how could someone so funny and talented and beloved by millions be so sad inside? How could someone who seemed to exude so much joy and happiness feel like he couldn’t go on? The truth is that the most talented among us are often the most tortured. Talent comes at a price…

Robin William’s decision has forced me to look inward. I’ve been where he was; wrestling those demons. I’ve been on that very same precipice as he was, ready to plunge into the chasm in an attempt to silence the never ending torrent of self-doubt and self-loathing. I was lucky; I was able to step back from the edge before it was too late. Unfortunately Mr. William’s could not win his battle and step back from that edge and into the light. That saddens me greatly and I mourn for him and his family at their loss.

If there is anything we should take away from this tragedy it should be that depression, anxiety, mental illness of all kinds are something that we should all be talking about openly. Shed light into those dark corners of the mind until there is nowhere to hide. We shouldn’t hide from this issue or sweep it under the rug; we have to expose it to the light, because light is the only thing the demons fear…


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