The late comedian, actor, and humanitarian Robin Williams died by suicide almost four years ago in August 2014. On Thursday, his 28-year-old daughter Zelda Williams wrote a birthday tribute for her father Robin on Instagram a few days before what would have been his 67th birthday on July 21. She thanks fans around the world for the outpouring of love for her father, but acknowledges she's feeling overwhelmed. “These weeks are the hardest for me,” Williams wrote in her Instagram caption.
Posting a photo of her and her father that must've been taken not long before he passed, Zelda Williams took time to celebrate her father’s life and impact, while also admitting she’s struggling and acknowledging all of her father’s fans and supporters. She wrote a long and beautiful message for everyone missing her dad:
"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."
She noted that so much love and support can sometimes be too much for one grieving person to handle, since she feels like she'd have to give back just as much without disappointing them. Instead she thanked all the fans at large, saying:
"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."
Williams took an earlier social media break in 2016 right before the two-year anniversary of her father's death, tweeting a a simple "tata for now!" with a longer statement that was very similar to the message she wrote on Friday on Instagram. In her 2016 tweet, she said:
"So it's that time of year again. I will be taking another break off social media. For those who always ask why, it's so people can memorialize Dad on the anniversary of his death however they wish without me having to feel bombarded by it, pr pressured by the expectation put on myself or my family to publicly acknowledge or join in doing so."
In her birthday message on Thursday, Williams celebrated her dad's huge heart and generous spirit, and encouraged those wishing to honor his memory to "volunteer at your local homeless shelter, or look up how to make homeless aid backpacks. Give one in his name. He’d have loved that." She continued, "Mostly, try to spread some laughter and kindness around. And creatively swear a lot Every time you do, somewhere out there in our vast weird universe, he’s giggling with you... or giving a particularly fat bumblebee its wings."
Though Zelda Williams will not be appearing in the upcoming HBO documentary about her father's life called Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, she has been keeping her dad's legacy of empathy and generosity alive by becoming an advocate for mental health, especially through the use of her social media presence, even if she has to unplug every once in a while. In fact, she reposted her Instagram message on Twitter with another "tata for now," to take some private time for herself to grieve the loss of her amazing father Robin Williams, who is probably hugging Koko the gorilla in heaven right about now.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.