In a heartfelt op-ed for The Huffington Post, Kate Lyon Osher wrote about a special moment she had the privilege of sharing with the actor.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of suicide that readers may find disturbing
Famed actor Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014. On August 11, fans across the world remembered him on his death anniversary. Among them was definitely Kate Lyon Osher, a woman who had lost her husband to suicide a few years prior to the actor's death. In an op-ed for The Huffington Post, the grieving widow shared her story of being comforted by Williams in an airport terminal when her husband had passed away and she had a breakdown. She described him as kind and gentle and wished him peace wherever he may now be.
"After my first husband Greg died by suicide, I went on a travel quest of sorts, scattering his ashes where he requested and trying to piece my life and my soul back together as best I could," she wrote. "Post 9/11 it wasn’t always easy to get a Tupperware of your late husband’s ashes through TSA security, and at LAX one afternoon I found myself on the receiving end of an agent with a power trip like no other." Osher was told she would have to toss the ashes, which led her to have a breakdown.
Nonetheless, an airport cop finally arrived and took her to the airport bar where she faced a wall while crying, clutching onto her little container. That is when she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard Williams's soft voice: "Miss, I just want to be sure you are okay. I see you are traveling alone, and I saw what happened, and I just really want to be sure you are okay." At the time, Osher could not believe the actor was casually traveling through LAX and would take the time out to talk to her. However, she shared her story with him.
She continued, "His eyes got a little glossy. His voice got softer. And he said to me, 'Addiction is a real b*tch. Mental illness and depression are the mother of all b*tches. I am so sorry for all the pain your husband was in. I’m so sorry for the pain you are in now. But it sounds like you have family and friends and love. And that tips the scale a bit, right?' And he walked me to the gate, as we were on the same commercial flight." Osher's story captures the essence of who Williams was—a compassionate soul who carried a heavy burden he should not have had to shoulder.
"He was a gentle soul," Osher affirmed. "He made us laugh, and he made us cry. He made us feel with his craft. He was honest about his demons. He was open about his mistakes and his faults. He was obviously in pain... What I haven’t yet shared was that during our walk to the gate he got me laughing. Impersonating people we passed by... He told me I had a wonderful laugh. A beautiful smile. And when we parted ways, he hugged me. With his famously hairy arms, he gave me a huge, warm, bear hug, and it sustained me. It was a moment I think about all the time. That moment saved me. And sustained me. He sustained me during one of the most difficult moments of my life. He was as kind as he was funny." Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.