A day after Robin Williams was found dead, his children penned statements that both captured their states of mind and what their father meant to them. Previously, the actor and comedian’s wife, Susan Schneider, had said in her own statement that she was heartbroken and that the family wanted privacy as it mourned. She also said that she wanted people to focus not on Williams’ death but on the “countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,” and the statements from his children reflect both their own grief and the fond memories they have of their father.
“Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer,” Zak Williams, 31, wrote. “I will carry his heart with me every day. I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought.”
“My family has always been private about our time spent together,” Zelda, 25, wrote in hers. “It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare. My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter.
“He was always warm, even in his darkest moments,” she continued. “While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.”
She added, “To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too.
“Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence,” she wrote. “We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”
“There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father,” Cody, 22, wrote. “The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.”
The actor’s second wife, Marsha Garces Williams – mother of Zelda and Cody – also released a statement. “My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you,” she wrote. “Please remember the gentle, loving, generous – and yes, brilliant and funny man that was Robin Williams. My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss.”
Since Williams’ death was announced, his friends, peers and admirers, from Danny DeVito to President Barack Obama, have all been sharing their thoughts about the actor and comedian, telling stories and parsing how much he meant to them. Notably, after Zelda tweeted a quotation from French poet and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – with her own caption, “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z” – Frances Bean Cobain replied directly to her, “You have such an incredibly beautiful soul. I love you but you already knew that. Wherever, whenever u need me I’ll be there.”