My Facebook feed is filled with comments about and photos of Robin Williams. According to press accounts, the 63-year-old actor committed suicide. Some of my friends in the entertainment industry are sharing stories of sadness about the funny comedian that inspired them.
When suicide occurs, people close to the death often struggle with no sense of closure.
Four years ago one of my favorite actresses committed suicide. Shayne Kohout appeared in the movies Mandie and the Secret Tunnel and Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure. Shayne also performed on the stage where her talents could shine.
I was a production assistant on the TV Series 7th Street Theater when Shayne auditioned for a new role. Anyone that has viewed numerous audition reels would recognize her as a natural talent. Shayne acted in 23 episodes.
After the series finished shooting, we rarely communicated. I was about to take a flight to visit my parents, when I received the call that Shayne had died. During the flight I thought about the fun times we shared.
The Bible says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28 ESV
How can good come from this tragedy?
Friends of Shayne participated in Atlanta's Out of the Darkness Walk to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Meanwhile, Shayne's life story lives on.
Jeanne S. Guerra authored the novel As I Leave You which is based on Shayne's journals. "In Shayne’s own words, readers are taken through raw emotions of self-loathing, anorexia, mutilation and manipulation as her most intimate secrets are slowly revealed to the family."
Maybe the book will help someone struggling with mental illness.
Hopefully the family of Robin Williams too will experience closure following this time of loss.