I woke up yesterday morning and in the course of brushing my teeth, opened up Facebook and saw a friend’s status “RIP Robin Williams”. I was alarmed. When I Googled it further, I became deeply troubled. Not because Robin Williams had passed away, but that he chose to end his life before its benign natural end as his soul might have planned. Questions started haunting me regarding this aspect of his death. Why did someone so creatively gifted choose to believe in his loneliness? There were 7 billion (minus 1) of us who he reached. Not one of us reached him. Were his walls so strong? Or was his isolation so deep? These were thoughts hard to reconcile.
A few months ago when I found out that one of my highly creative friends who is an inspiration to me since my college days was diagnosed with clinical depression, I went straight into disbelief. I don’t believe anyone, especially creative people, deserves these spaces. Robin’s passing connected me to that deep denial within me.
After my daily meditation today I reflected on why this news hit me so badly. It makes that time come alive in my teens when I was battling depression, a family member wanting to commit suicide 24×7, the intense ache of seeing that there was no one to hold my family as it was breaking and the rattling sword hanging above my head that there would be no provider for our family. In those moments at one point I had reached a point of total chaos within me. In that moment my anger at going out of control turned into rage, love turned rancid and I decided to remove my faith in God. In that rock bottom moment it had hit me that there was no one was coming to save me. Thoughts of suicide started running through my head. I almost went to that point, one of those dawns when my family was asleep, there was chaotic silence and my head was throbbing from having cried all night. What pulled me out of that act of ending my life was the love I had for my brother. I knew it would break his heart to know that I had deserted them in their time of need.
As I look deeper into those moments today, I wish I had someone to tell me the golden words –
This too shall pass. You are not alone. Even if you believe you are.
In the year 2012 very suddenly even though I had a regular Breathwork practice, I plunged into depression. I felt the same isolation cover me up like a black cloud. I could see other people around me but there seemed to be a wall separating me from them. I could reach them but I couldn’t form words to describe this cloud around me. I couldn’t communicate at one level. I felt isolated, even though I was talking, socialising, writing as I normally used to. My only refuge was the quiet inner voice that showed up from time to time. But it had started to become more and more unbearable. I took a leave from work and did 3 straight days of morning and evening meditations at the Osho Commune in my hometown. That’s only because that inner voice sounded like Osho. He says that depression is deeply pressed down anger gone unexpressed for years. And as I read that, I realised I had to dance that depression out. I knew Osho understood me like I couldn’t. I knew he was listening as I sat in deep throbbing despair, terrified by the inability to reach into myself, among those bamboo shoots creaking by the pressing wind. After 3 days, I finally began to feel my pain. Quite mysteriously a friend called me out of nowhere and told me she had a message for me, that I must accompany her to a meditation retreat in a pyramid in Bangalore. When I reached there and started meditating, a chunk of pain and the grief exploded within me. I meditated through the tears, feeling the pain. Somewhere at the very tiny center of my soul, I knew, this too shall pass.
Today I connected to this phase again through Robin. I wish he had learnt to meditate, learnt to connect to breath, that unchanging part of himself, the source of life – Love. It isn’t easy. I’ve gone through what is called the dark night of the soul not once, but many times. In the first one I learnt to go back to my breath and hold myself in that center, and in the second one I was once again led back to that source. The difference though was that the first time I was so caught up in my isolation that I believed I had to do it all on my own. The second time I felt helpless, terrified and lonely inspite of all my spiritual experiences which had proved otherwise except that this time I was taken into the source of breath by someone watching over me. I was receiving proof that a higher self exists. Angels exist. They come forth. There is someone around us all the time. They are watching, understanding and feeling our pain and want to hold us in their wings.
Life isn’t predictable and by no means is it stationary and stable even for the most spiritual of human beings. And inspite of everything we can do, we can’t be prepared for life. And hence we can’t be prepared for death. We can only just breathe it and live it. And often that is enough.
I wish Robin Williams knew this. I wish Whitney Houston knew this. I wish Heath Ledger knew this. I wish every creative person in this world knows this. For now I can only send that wish into the Cosmic Mind which connects all the minds of this planet. I wish I become an instrument to heal this isolation that a creative person goes through. It is an illusion as this quote below beautifully puts it.
To all these beautiful souls who are a part of me, I picture them being cradled in soft white light to balm their wounds carried over from a traumatic lifetime. I send tenderness and angelic support to their loved ones who perhaps grieve everyday.
To Robin, I love you. There are only prayers and love in this afterlife.
An article that touched me: