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Heaven Didn’t Wait


I don’t know if there is a gate in heaven. Truth be told, I’m not all that sold on heaven itself.

I hope that if there is a heaven to look forward to, that it’s not the one I learned about in my Catholic catechism or my Baptist teachings. Because if that were true, then wonderful people like Robin Williams would not be allowed entry. And that is not a God I would choose to believe in.

I am blessed to be able to say that I know pity little about suicide, about what brings one to opt for extinction. I am familiar with the feelings of unbearable sadness, of being left behind and the helplessness that death leaves in its wake. That’s enough.

Is it just me, or does the world seem a little more broken because it lost such a giving light? Maybe it’s because he shared so much of himself with us. He showed us his vulnerability, shared his demons and carried on the best he could, giving us so much laughter along the way. SO much laughter!

I’ve never been a celebrity groupie. So many of them aren’t worth a thought. But the man we lost earlier this week was above the fray. Way above.

Yes, he had wicked talent beyond description. But his generosity of spirit, heart, giving and sharing; those are the things that made him a star in my book. A super star.

Robin Williams gave of himself so much and so often to so many. He didn’t take posed selfies and publish them for publicity. He quietly went about donating his time, money and talent to our Armed Forces, children in need and organizations that were better equipped for having him in their corner. He didn’t want fanfare. He just wanted to do the right thing.

We are told in great detail how he ended his life, far too visual and painful to imagine. This is not how such a noble gift to so many should have left us.

I don’t think I ever want to see what is so horrible that one would try so hard to leave this world to rid themselves of it.

That is what suicide is, I think. Ridding yourself of a horror you can no longer bear the weight of. I can’t imagine it, and my eyes tear up and my heart breaks at the thought of it.

I’ve read a lot on social media today how people who commit suicide are cowards. I have to wonder how they know that. Some would argue that those who choose suicide and give up their most precious asset to be free of the demons that plague them are brave. Whatever you many think, it’s not intellect talking, but rather a judgment that is not ours to make.

My grandfather would always stress to me to never judge anyone unless I walked in their shoes. I live by it to this day. I wish others did the same.

A lot of the things being said about the death of Robin Williams are cruel, ignorant and condemning. As humans we are all weak. Mental illness stays with some and leaves others in peace. Who is to say that one person is less than another because they were unable to hold up to their illness? Not I.

For some reason, among all the celebrities we have lost these past years, this one shocks and hurts like few before him.

Acceptance is one of life’s most important lessons. It can be a bitch.

No matter how you see this tragedy, whether you blame him, his illness, call him weak or strong, the fact is we are all less privileged today than we were a couple of days ago. ALL of us. The world has lost a patron of goodness, laughter, talent, grace, love and giving.

For us it’s a hit of major proportions. For his family, it’s a reckoning of a new life without one of their own to see them through.

Death awaits for all of us. I pray tonight that it doesn’t press you to find it.

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mel glenn - Dear Tammy,
A most compassionate column with a beautiful last last line, “….don’t press to find it.” Even Shepard Smith on FOX called RW a “coward,” but I agree, nobody can judge what drives a man or woman to the edge and over it. It’s a desire for the release of pain. (Today’s news story was that he felt crushed by money concerns – alimony payments)Would there be an accepting heaven, not sure there is one at all.) I feel for his children; they will be scarred. Suicide has consequences for the living. See scene in “Good Will Hunting” to understand the inability of one man to understand another’s pain.

Joan Cooper - Dear Tammy – you have such a way with words. No one could pay a more wonderful tribute to Robin Williams. He was lucky to have you in his audience.

Life is hard. Was this really what God or the gods wanted ? I see them sitting around watching our planet like a TV novella. Human’s are an amazing creation. So is nature. When I get too far from nature I feel myself start to lose touch. Mother Teresa questioned it all at the end. She asked how a good god could allow the cruelty all around us (?). Oh yes – we are endowed with ‘free will’. We really have to work hard to understand that when we face the mean nasty things life can hand out.

Thank you for that lovely piece for Robin Williams. Makes us all think.


Jenn - a thoughtful reflection on this sad event and some of the sadder public response.

Tammy - Mel, I wish I knew the answer to “would there be an accepting heaven”. All we are taught about God is forgiveness and love. If that is true, then the wondering can stop. I guess we won’t know until we get there. I also heard many cruel comments. Awful. What makes a person believe they can judge another? One must wonder. Of course, it is always those who are left behind that must deal with the pain. It is all so very, very sad. Thank you, Mel, for you sharing and insight.

Tammy - Joan, we DO have to work hard to understand all that life brings our way. So much of it is tragic. I share Mother Theresa’s point of view. However, this earth is run by mankind. And we both know there is no more destructive species that lives. Continue to look on the bright side of the heart. There is much there to hold on to! Thank you for the read and the comment, Joan!

Tammy - Thanks for that, Jenn. So appreciate the read and the sharing. Life can be cruel. People crueler.

Tana Bevan - “That is what suicide is, I think. Ridding yourself of a horror you can no longer bear the weight of. I can’t imagine it, and my eyes tear up and my heart breaks at the thought of it.”

You have an amazing way with words my friend. Thank you.

Tammy - As do you, my friend. As do you! It is a subject that I am personally unfamiliar with. Thank God. But that touches me grievously non the less. Appreciate the read, and of course, the kind comment!

Mary Lanzavecchia - Having lost my brother 4 years ago to suicide, I heard many comments that were unbelievable to me. Comments that he had committed a sin and was selfish. I couldn’t believe my ears; the insensitivity that cut into my broken heart. I ached for my brother the man who felt so lost and whose pain ran so deep and I ached more for the children he left behind.

Lovely post, Tammy. You’re right; we are all privileged to have witnessed his light shine while it did and owe nothing but respect to his family as they move through the days, months, and years ahead toward a “new normal.”

Tammy - Mary, so very, very sorry about the loss of your brother. It’s beyond horrible what people believe they have a right to say. They have NO right to pitch in their opinions. Not then or now. Let us consider ourselves lucky to have had these wonderful people in our lives and to bear witness to their contributions of family, love and giving. Hugs to you, my new friend, and warm thanks for your sharing.

Lois Alter Mark - Such a great post. It’s not up to any of us to judge Robin Williams or anyone who commits suicide. I can’t imagine the pain someone must feel to reach that point. It’s up to us to be compassionate to the family they leave behind and to try to help people never get to that point in the first place. Robin Williams will be greatly missed.

Tammy - What a wonderful world it would be if we could prevent this disease from taking any one from us again. If only. And yet, if we can send men to the moon, this should be attainable. From your mouth to Gods ears, Lois. Thank you for being here!

Kitt Crescendo - Tammy, I have found myself both frustrated and ashamed of the way our media/press handles celebrity death…or celebrities in general. We don’t allow families their space to grieve. We get so nosy about the gory details. I truly feel for the loved ones left behind in these situations.

Like you, I adored Robin Williams. Always have. Was I devastated to learn of his passing? Of course. Yet my sense of loss is minute compared to what his family must be experiencing…and they’re under microscopes. Me? I’ll pray for them and hope they find some measure of peace. I won’t be judging Robin. It’s not my job. My job is to love and give and try to make my world a better place how and where I can.

Susan Smart - Dearest Tammy ……Perfect.

Janie Emaus - This was a beautiful tribute. So well written and well, I just had to comment even though I’m leaving at 4:30am and should be packing!

Tammy - I too am ashamed of our media system of coverage for things like this. It’s embarrassing and humiliating. It’s also depicts us as a nation in such a sad despicable way. *sigh* We are better than that as a whole. People generally reach out as you have with prayers and genuine tears of grief for those left behind. I’m right there with you. So glad to see you here. I’ve missed you!

Tammy - Susan, that is the nicest thing anyone could say. Thank you, my friend. I miss you.

Tammy - Oh, Janie, I’m so happy you made time for me. Thank you for the kindest of reviews! Appreciate the read! Safe travels to you….uh, leaving at 4:30? What journey would be worth that wake up? You must keep me posted on that. Wonderful to hear from you. Truly.

Doreen McGettigan - Some of those comments were horrific. My family was very rattled by the comments and by the sheriff’s press conference. My stepson died the same way. The sheriffs graphic detail left us praying Robin’s family was not watching.
Our priest told us if you are mentally ill and die of suicide you do go to heaven. I find it all very confusing but cannot imagine Robin Williams anywhere right now but in Heaven making all of the angels and the stars laugh.

Tammy - Neither can I, Doreen. Neither can I. Religion is confusing. The rules seems to change and flux and sins have degrees. I have to think that there are no such idiocies in Gods place. Loving hearts are accepted. It can’t be any other way. I’m so very sorry to hear of your stepson. It’s brutal. I can’t imagine. I too prayed that Robins family was not watching the news as the sheriff spoke of the details. I, myself, turned off the television. Some things I don’t need to know. Thank you for the read, Dorren, and the comment. Wonderful to hear your sharing.

Maliss - Your spot on! Hugs Tammy

Tammy - Happy to hear it, Maliss. Happy you enjoyed the read, and do so appreciate the comment!

Jean-Pierre Smith - Tammy, Thank you so much for those word. You are spot on.

Tammy - Thank YOU for the read, Jean-Pierre. I do so appreciate your kindness.

Myrna Alpern - Hi Tammy,

I just signed up for your seminar, and I’m looking forward to it. I had hoped that you were going to do it. The person you recommended to me in fact, recommended YOU as the person to call for expert advice.

Obviously, there is a HUGH void in this industry for the expert. We can’t keep spreading you so thin.

Tammy - Hi Myrna, so happy to have you on board here at Witty Woman! Geesh, nothing like going around the mulberry bush. Sorry about that. Yes, I am an expert on blogging/social media and writing, and do offer my services to the public. However, I am a working girl and my fees are posted on my website. The services offered by SCORE are free, which is why I referred you to them. Should you need my help, Myrna, I’m happy to do all I can. Click on my website, enter your payment and, Bam!, we will schedule some old fashion face time together. Thrilled to see you at the event next week!

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