When sadness speaks

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By Evangeline Murillo

Tea For Two

Thursday, August 14, 2014


THE surprising incident haunting Robin Williams' death stuns people no end, especially those who knew him and watched him in different movies doing roles only he could perform so well. The comedian that he was, masked deeply seated sadness, foreboding and fears that haunt the human psyche. Still, we cannot believe nor do we believe that he took his own life. Indeed he was a picture of laughter, an image of strength that propped people's spirits up. It was good to see his movies from where one can laugh and gain much wisdom coming from serious moments in between. No, impossible. He smiles and is funny no end. If he makes us laugh then we are the sad ones longing to be healed of miseries. No, not Robin Williams, not the funny guy who makes people happy. Yet, that is the truth about what happened. He took his own life and left us curious, dazed, and questioning. Wondering...did he not have a good life, wasn't he rich and famous? Did he not have beautiful wives and families? Divorce then another, and another.

Are there others like him, other comedians whose job it is to make people smile and laugh and be happy? There are many of them: Freddie Prinze suffered from depression, which deepened in the weeks following his divorce. On the night of January 28, 1977, after talking on the telephone with his estranged wife, Prinze received a visit from his business manager, Marvin "Dusty" Snyder. With his manager looking on, Prinze put a gun to his head and shot himself. He was placed on life support following emergency surgery. Prinze's family removed him from life support and he died at 1 p.m. on January 29.In 1977, the death was ruled a suicide. Prinze had left a note stating that he had decided to take his life. Other comedians who took a similar path were: Michael Dubois, Combs, Weaver, Ni Minjan, Sather, McCullough, Rocket , Maki and many more.

This reality makes us remember the song "Send in the Clowns" where the lyrics point to a funny smiling and laughing clown who weeps inside himself. This is life, the real one. We go through a journey of living, many times trying to make others feel good... and then... forgetting ourselves in the process. How many comedians have left the world because they cannot make themselves happy, being too busy making others so? It is good to help, but when laughter becomes a job to help ease out others' restlessness and misery, the task becomes a self-inflicting weapon. Eventually, making others laugh becomes a refuge to hide oneself and one's own reality, or to suppress one's basic melancholy and disappointments. When a person cannot reveal himself, cannot and will not open up to others to spill out the most malevolent emotions and thoughts, the only receptacle left for these negativisms is himself. Later, the hidden anger and loneliness surface to reveal a person eaten by depression. And depression is the beast that overwhelms the spirit like the UFC fighter who gags breathless his opponent till the suffocating one cannot do anything but yield, give up, surrender, submit. Winning by submission of its opponent is the role of depression in the lives of people.

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To win the battle against humanity through lethal weapons like sadness and melancholy, to wreak havoc in the soul and the mind of a being, what better purpose can depression have? And the winner, depression, takes it all! There are lessons to be learned, many of them ignored because we have to do a job, because people may think us weak when we admit our sufferings, because we won't open up, we just can't. So, we put up a big bold and smiling front, when the truth is, we are crumbling slowly within, we are crying and howling from the deepest chambers of our soul. Baguio, don't let sadness bring you down. Get up and go! The best is still to come. I love you Baguio!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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