Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dear Robin

Dear Robin,

Well, here we are. I'm sat in an Edinburgh cafe and you're ... well.

Front pages and well-meaning features scream about the tragedy. Your gentle face smiles out from behind the headlines and heavy heads nod and say it's such a shame.

Besides the fact itself, it's this that I find most upsetting. I don't want to remember you like this, as this week's poster boy for mental health problems and those who lose their fight against them. It doesn't see, right to see the word 'suicide' emblazoned across your face, because although you had problems, problems which you discussed with openness and generosity, to me that could never define you.

It was that smile that defined you. The smile that signalled mischief and joy and a little spark of madness. The smile which made those who now mourn you, love you in the first place.

I want to remember you as the clown, the genie, the man who loved his kids so much that he dressed up as an elderly Scottish woman. I want to remember you as the therapist and the radio host, the doctor and the boy who never wanted to grow up. I want to remember you as the maverick who has inspired generations to mount their chairs and follow you, oh captain, my captain!

But I know that these people were never really you and so above all, I will remember the man who breathed life into them all. A man who I can never claimed to have known, but who made me laugh and cry and inspired me and so many others to try and do the same.

I will remember your extraordinary ability to make people and stories come alive, to tickle ribs and tug heart strings.

And I will remember the smile that shone through every  show and role and interview. I will make that your true legacy, above the fact that you chose to go.

That's all I really wanted to say Robin. I hope you've found peace. I hope that somewhere, you continue to smile.

All my love,



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