Kate Lyon Osher shared the brief yet impactful moment she shared with the legendary Robin Williams via a heartfelt op-ed.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of suicide that may be disturbing to some readers
The world stood still for a moment on August 11, 2014, when news about legendary comedian Robin Williams' death by suicide surfaced. Celebrities everywhere came together to express their grief for him. It is a mark that the beloved actor is not forgotten by his fans who still pay him tributes every year on his death anniversary. One such fan is Kate Lyon Osher, who tragically lost her husband after he died by suicide a few years before the star did. She shared a touching story of being comforted by the late artist in an op-ed for The Huffington Post. Osher was at an airport terminal when she suddenly had a breakdown following her partner's death and at that point, a "kind and gentle" Willaims stepped up to console her.
"After my first husband Greg died by suicide, I went on a travel quest of sorts, scattering his ashes where he requested and trying to piece my life and my soul back together as best I could," she shared. "Post 9/11 it wasn’t always easy to get a Tupperware of your late husband’s ashes through TSA security, and at LAX one afternoon I found myself on the receiving end of an agent with a power trip like no other." The grieving wife was told she would have to discard the ashes and this instruction coupled with her husband's loss broke her down. Soon an airport cop arrived and escorted her to the airport bar, where she faced a wall and wept while clutching onto her little container.
At this moment, she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Williams, who softly said, "Miss, I just want to be sure you are okay. I see you are traveling alone, and I saw what happened, and I just really want to be sure you are okay." Of course, Osher couldn't believe that the famed actor was casually traveling through LAX and that he would take out time to actually talk to a stranger like her. But at that point, it was the most comforting thing for the woman who ended up sharing her story with him. "His eyes got a little glossy," she recalled.
"His voice got softer. And he said to me, 'Addiction is a real b*tch. Mental illness and depression are the mother of all b*tches. I am so sorry for all the pain your husband was in. I’m so sorry for the pain you are in now. But it sounds like you have family and friends and love. And that tips the scale a bit, right?' And he walked me to the gate, as we were on the same commercial flight," she added. Osher's heartfelt story reinforces the well-known fact that Williams was a compassionate person who didn't mind sharing a heavy burden on his shoulder whenever he needed to.
"He was a gentle soul," noted Osher, wishing him peace where he may now be. "He made us laugh, and he made us cry. He made us feel with his craft. He was honest about his demons. He was open about his mistakes and his faults. He was obviously in pain... What I haven’t yet shared was that during our walk to the gate he got me laughing. Impersonating people we passed by... He told me I had a wonderful laugh. A beautiful smile. And when we parted ways, he hugged me. With his famously hairy arms, he gave me a huge, warm, bear hug, and it sustained me. It was a moment I think about all the time. That moment saved me. And sustained me. He sustained me during one of the most difficult moments of my life. He was as kind as he was funny." I hope you're in a better place now, Mr. Williams! Rest in peace.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Kevin Winter