Robin Williams' daughter honours his memory with heartwarming birthday message
It's always sad to see a beloved icon pass away before their time, but Robin Williams' death affected many of his fans in a far more extreme way. As an actor, Williams was a source of zany humour and genuine pathos, bringing tragedy to his comedy and showing us the light in the darker aspects of life.
To discover he had taken his own life, due to struggles with mental illness, was heartbreaking news.
All these emotions pale in comparison to those that his close friends and family went through in August 2014 and the years since. His 28-year-old daughter, Zelda, has been open with the public about what she has gone through, and been happy to see wonderful stories of the man shared across social media - but it can still be very overwhelming to go through the grieving process on the public stage.
On Thursday, Zelda shared a statement on Instagram and Twitter about her father and his legacy, a few days before what would have been his 67th birthday on July 21. She thanked his fans across the world for their love and support, and tried to explain exactly what this time of year is like for her.
Posting a photo of her and her father taken not long before he passed away, she shared a long and heartfelt message with the world, which read:
"It’s that time of year again. Everyone who has dealt with loss knows the pain of certain anniversaries, moments full of memory that come round like clockwork and usurp all others, no matter how hard you may try to prepare for or avoid them. These weeks are the hardest for me, and thus, you’ll see me a lot less, if at all.
"For all the internet’s good intentions in expressing to me their fondness for dad, it’s very overwhelming to have strangers need me to know how much they cared for him right now. It’s harder still to be expected to reach back. So while I’ve got the strength, consider this my one open armed response, before I go take my yearly me time to celebrate his and my birthdays in peace."
She went on to thank the fans for "loving him," "missing him," and "supporting him and his life's work," before making some suggestions for his fans.
While she appreciates the messages of support she receives, she believes that we can truly honour his memory by volunteering at local homeless shelters or make donations. "Give one in his name," she wrote. "He'd have loved that."
In addition to this, she pointed out some charities he enjoyed, including the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and The Reeve Foundation, named after Williams' close friend and Superman actor Christopher Reeve.
Her parting words were the best of all, writing:
"Mostly, try to spread some laughter and kindness around. And creatively swear a lot.
"Everytime you do, somewhere out there in our vast weird universe, he’s giggling with you... or giving a particularly fat bumblebee its wings.
"Happy early birthday, Poppo.
"Miss you every day, but especially these ones."
One thing is for sure, Robin would have been proud of his daughter and the kind words we have shared. So, let's all honour his memory by spreading some laughter and kindness in the world.