5 Lifesaving Things to Consider When Writing About the Death of Robin Williams

August 13, 2014 12:06 AM

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The allure of the story is nearly impossible to resist. A famous actor and comedian takes his own life in dramatic fashion. His body of work includes characters who deliver powerful speeches about depression, torment, the afterlife, and even suicide. News media rush to release gory details about his death scene. Fans who felt an emotional connection to his work share their feelings publicly -- in the millions. Some hail him as a tortured genius and compare him to other "great artists" who took their own lives. Many offer hope that he has "found peace" or is perhaps "hanging out" with other deceased celebrities, having a good laugh.

It's so hard not to react and get these feelings off our chests, but maybe we should stop a moment to reflect before we do. It is shockingly easy to unintentionally glorify suicide. Williams was a great talent, no doubt, but are we inadvertently communicating to others that they, as well, could find...

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