Robin Williams' son Zak pens heartfelt tribute to late father on 7th anniversary of his death
Zak Williams, son of the late Robin Williams, is honoring his father on the seventh anniversary of his death.
The mental health advocate wrote a touching tribute to the actor and comedian, who died by suicide in 2014, at age 63. (After Williams' death, he was diagnosed with diffuse Lewy body dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder.)
"Dad, seven years ago today you passed on," Zak Williams tweeted Wednesday. "The joy and inspiration you brought to the world carries on in your legacy and in your family, friends, and fans you so loved. You lived to bring laughter and to help others. I will be celebrating your memory today. Love you forever."
Williams' daughter, Zelda Williams, also marked the anniversary of her father's death by offering support to others grieving the loss of loved ones.
"Sending love out there today to all the folks navigating loss," she wrote on Twitter. "New, old, the connective tissue of that deeply human pain can be hard to bear, but I find it easier sometimes knowing how many others have felt the same sting. We're not alone."
Zelda and Zak Williams have both been active in promoting mental health awareness.
Williams' widow, Susan Schneider Williams, also published an essay in the medical journal Neurology back in 2016 titled "The Terrorist Inside My Husband's Brain." The essay details Williams' struggles as they tried to find a diagnosis for him prior to his death.
"My husband was trapped in the twisted architecture of his neurons and no matter what I did I could not pull him out," she wrote.
Doctors struggled to pinpoint what was wrong with the actor, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease a few months before his death. His autopsy, however, said Williams had diffuse Lewy body dementia, which has many of the same symptoms as Parkinson's.
"I have since learned that people with LBD who are highly intelligent may appear to be okay for longer initially, but then, it is as though the dam suddenly breaks and they cannot hold it back anymore," Susan Schneider Williams wrote. "In Robin's case, on top of being a genius, he was a [Juilliard]-trained actor. I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting. But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.