One year after her father's death, Zelda Williams shared an important message on Instagram about her tragic loss. Robin Williams passed away on August 11, 2014, and Zelda revealed that since that time, she's come to a major realization. In her tribute, Zelda posted a photo of the moon rising over a lake, captioning the image:
Moonrise on the lake. I spent this night shivering and laughing under a clear, cold sky full of stars with people I love just to witness something beautiful. We mooned the moon and laughed ourselves hoarse, and I'm so incredibly grateful for every silly second. I came to a realization this year that I feel compelled to share here, for whomsoever may need it: Avoiding fear, sadness or anger is not the same thing as being happy. I live my sadness every day, but I don't resent it anymore. Instead, I do it now so that the wonderful moments of joy I do find are not in order to forget, but to inhabit and enjoy for their own sake. It's not easy. In fact, I'd say it takes much more effort to consciously do than it does to just stay sad, but with all my heart, I cannot tell you how worth it it is.
Zelda also addressed depression, something with which the actor reportedly struggled:
And for those suffering from depression, I know how dark and endless that tunnel can feel, but if happiness seems impossible to find, please hold on to the possibility of hope, faint though it may be. Because I promise you, there're enough nights under the same yellow moon for all of us to share, no matter how or when you find your way there.
It must be incredibly difficult for Zelda to discuss these issues in such a public forum, but it's so inspiring to see her share such an important message, especially considering how painful this past year has been for her. Just a few days after Williams' death, Zelda took a break from social media after harassment from Twitter trolls, writing, "I'm sorry. I should've risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye."
The next month, Zelda returned to Twitter, thanking fans for their support. "I just want to say thank you for all the stories and letters I've been receiving, especially from those who've also lost loved ones," she wrote. She continued, "I don't come online often, but reading of others who have dealt with this loss & gone on to live happy, full lives is helpful. Truly."
Zelda has also been vocal about carrying on her father's legacy. In February, she appeared on the Today show to supports Williams' charities, later writing about the experience on her Instagram. In the post, she explained that the Challenged Athletes Foundation meant a lot to her father. "Dad did the 44 mile bike leg of the CAF triathlon with Rudy and Scott from 1998 until his health no longer allowed him to do so in 2009, and it meant the world to him," she wrote. "While I'm in no way capable (at least not yet 😄) of biking 44 miles, I will do everything else in my (decidedly less athletic) power to continue Dad's legacy and support the charities he loved that I've watched first hand change thousands of lives."
Zelda also spoke out on World Mental Health Day in 2014 to address mental health stigmas. In a series of tweets, she spoke on how those struggling with these issues are often misunderstood:
Mental health IS as important as physical health, & whether there are visible signs or not, the suffering is real. It can affect EVERYONE. So please, let's help stop the misconceptions & support those who need our help. Healing the whole starts with healing minds. So please, let's help stop the misconceptions & support those who need our help. Healing the whole starts with healing minds ... No matter what the misinformed say, you can't simply CHOOSE to make mental illness go away. It is NOT cowardly to suffer or seek help. Lastly, my dad openly fought depression his whole life, both in general and his own. No matter what anyone says, it is a FIGHT. Fight on.
Zelda also honored Williams with a hummingbird tattoo, which she inked on the hand she shakes with. "If you've seen them fly, and if you know a little bit about them, they're impossible to keep in one place," she told reporters at the 2015 Noble Awards. "And that was the reaction that my father got, from children, from fans, from senior citizens. And that's what hummingbirds always meant to me."
Unsurprisingly, Zelda isn't the only person to honor her late father. On the anniversary of his death, many celebrities remembered Williams with emotional messages, while fans also created moving memorials. Carrying on Robin Williams' legacy is clearly important to everyone, and even though it must be hard at times for those close to him like Zelda, her words are inspiring to anyone struggling.
Image: Zelda Williams/Instagram