Feeling a bit crap tonight. When I turned on the computer this morning one of my facebook buddies had posted a comment and link to the effect that Robin Williams had died, most likely by his own hand.
It registered as a "wow,that's sad" moment, and then I continued on with all the things that fill a morning when you're on holiday and have got to help get the kids ready for a family outing.
As the day went on and I had some time to think it dawned on me that Robin Williams - the inspirational school teacher, the deliverer of Will Hunting, the mad comic, the dad who wanted to see his kids, the guy like a crazy uncle who you sometimes didn't know how to take, but whose presence you took for granted - had died, and by his own hand.
I guess when you've got to a certain age most of us have had a few run-ins with suicide. People we know, friends, family members, family members of friends, friends of family members, kids who lived down the street, old school mates and so on.
In dark moments we might even have thought about it - more or less abstractly - ourselves.
What makes this one so hard to bear is that had it been someone else who was in despair you know Robin Williams the man would have been right there urging that someone to get help, to make a call, to wait another day, to laugh or cry, to give themselves time to let things get better.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he couldn't do that himself, and if even Robin Williams can succumb, how much harder is it going to be to convince others who are struggling with life that it really is worth living?
What a sad day, what a terrible loss, and what a hard lesson.