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Distraught Robin Williams Asked His Wife If They Were "Separated" When He Was Told To Sleep Separately On Doctor's Orders

Distraught Robin Williams Asked His Wife If They Were "Separated" When He Was Told To Sleep Separately On Doctor's Orders

A new documentary on Robin Williams called "Robin's Wish" talks about his devastating last days.

Robin Williams was a man that never failed to bring a smile on the faces of his audience or anyone, who knew him. His humor was contagious and it helped many to overcome the tough phases of their life. But his final days were filled with intense pain and emotional outbursts. Unaware of what was happening inside his body, the actor struggled. His peace was disrupted and the man, who could make anybody giggle could not cheer himself up.



 

According to People, the actor's wife, Susan Schneider Williams revealed that she was instructed to sleep separately by the doctor to help the actor with his insomnia issues. The change was disturbed Williams.

"He said to me, 'Does this mean we're separated?'" recalled Schneider. She continued, "That was a really shocking moment. When your best friend, your partner, your love — you realize that there's a giant chasm somewhere, and you can't see where it is but that's just not based in reality. That was a hard moment."

Williams suffered from Lewy body disease, a brain disorder but it was only found out after he died of suicide in August 2014. "He had been struggling with symptoms that seemed unrelated: constipation, urinary difficulty, heartburn, sleeplessness and insomnia, and a poor sense of smell—and lots of stress. He also had a slight tremor in his left hand that would come and go," recalled his wife, according to Neurology.org.



 

Speaking with Today's Hoda Kotb about the release of a new documentary, Robin's Wish, Schneider spoke of the loss of "the greatest love I've ever known." The documentary portrays the strenuous battle fought by the actor against his undiagnosed brain illness.



 

Having seen her husband's fight and agony, Schneider reminisced how their life went downhill. Though the late actor consulted the doctors, his illness was misdiagnosed. With the illness slowly damaging him, the actor struggled with paranoia, delusions and looping, insomnia, and memory. Schneider noticed her husband being more anxious by the day and realized he was finding it difficult to live with it. 

"Robin and I knew there was so much more going on. Robin was right when he said to me, 'I just want to reboot my brain.' In that moment, I promised him that we would get to the bottom of this. I just didn't know that would be after he passed," said the woman, speaking of their last days together.



 

Writing about his ordeal, Schneider wrote, "For the first time, my own reasoning had no effect in helping my husband find the light through the tunnels of his fear. I felt his disbelief in the truths I was saying. My heart and my hope were shattered temporarily. We had reached a place we had never been before. My husband was trapped in the twisted architecture of his neurons and no matter what I did I could not pull him out."

She further added, "Powerless and frozen, I stood in the darkness of not knowing what was happening to my husband," according to Neurology.org.



 

Despite the tough times he always tried to help others with his humor. "This was a man who was incredibly rich and deep and versed in so much about humanity and culture, and his humor was like this secret weapon," Schneider Williams recalled of Robin, according to People.

"There were so many times when he would see someone needed a lift, and then he would just inject a little bit of humor in just the right way to make a difference."

Previously, Schneider explained the reason behind the title of the new documentary. With his experiences, the actor wanted to help others to be less afraid. "We had been discussing what we wanted our legacies to be in life; when it was our time to go, how we wanted to have made people feel. Without missing a beat, Robin said, 'I want to help people be less afraid,'" said Schneider in a statement.

References: 

https://people.com/movies/robin-williams-widow-susan-opens-up-about-comedians-final-years/
https://n.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308.full