I live in Burbank and work in the film industry. It is not an uncommon thing for me to encounter a famous person on set or in a coffee shop or grocery store or the credit union. I admire some famous folk, and some I "judge." I'm human, you see. If the celebrity has become famous through forces of talent and skill and personality and luck, chances are, when I encounter him/her in a non-work environment, I will say something (as simple as "love your work" or "I'm a fan"), and a conversation may or may not follow. The celebrities who are famous for things beyond their own control (wealth and a family name) or "Reality" television are the ones I will NOT tend to say anything to, because they show themselves to disregard anyone "below" their own station, and I have no respect for them. I'm not here to start a fight!
When a famous person dies, if it's someone I've respected, I may post or share in the "R.I.P." whatever on Facebook. But it's a short-lived thing. A quick acknowledgement that he or she has passed, and that the work we could have seen will never be seen. I met Phillip Seymour Hoffman a few years ago, and we had a short conversation. He was one whose work I respected, and when he died, I acknowledged it.
I never met Robin Williams. I never worked with him. I never even saw him in person, from any distance. But yesterday was a blow. I'm still crying. I'm not even sure WHY.
I think it has more to do with his Bi-Polar diagnosis, which led to a depression, which led to his suicide. I am in no way diagnosable as having Bi-Polar Disorder. I do have occasional depressions, some of which have been diagnosable, although I've never been diagnosed. I've never been suicidal, although there have been depressions in which I've wished I were dead. I am not currently depressed, but I am deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams. I think what is hurting me right now is that he had access (i.e. funds) to the finest medical care, but still couldn't find his way to the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure that his family and friends probably recognized that he was depressed, but no one can know what's going on in the mind of anyone else. Ever. And a depressed mind doesn't necessarily "get" the information that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.
I think, if I can manage to think about Robin without crying... no, not "if" but "when"... I will celebrate his life and work with a bingefest of all of his comedies that I have on my shelf. And then, when I've comedied myself into a frenzy, I'll settle down with "What Dreams May Come"... and then I'll probably wonder why he didn't watch it himself before his own despair took his life.
Farewell, Oh Captain, My Captain. I hope there is an Annie looking for you on the Other Side. I'm sure she'll tell you how greatly you are missed (and will be, for a long while) on THIS Side.