DAVE GOODERHAM: Mork’s legacy must be to keep talking

A personal view
A personal view
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This column was almost complete – 301 words in to be exact. I was going to write about loom bands, bean bag races and our Hi-de-Hi holiday at Hopton-on-Sea. The way the Great British holiday was alive and well in the Gooderham household and how a week in caravan actually taught me how to live – and love – life without wi-fi. Then something changed.

For the second time in a matter of months, I found myself shocked to the core about the death of a celebrity.

After Rik Mayall’s untimely trip upstairs, Robin Williams joined him far too soon. To paraphrase a friend on Facebook, heavenly is currently assembling an all-star comedy list.

I’m not sure why I was shocked about Williams especially. Maybe it was his age, the fact I love so many of his movies or that he was leaving behind three children.

Maybe the loss of my own father late last year, the first time I have really been touched by death, has caused me to both re-evaluate and relate.

But, unlike with Mayall, it was the circumstances surrounding Williams – and in particular his battle with inner demons that touched a particular nerve.

On the face of it, how could one of the world’s funniest men, an actor, a stand-up comedian who has brought tears of laughter (as well as some of the finest poignant moments) for five generations suffer so much?

The fact he was unable to view his family’s love above his own inner pain and problems probably tell you everything about the life he was living.

Williams will of course have a legacy, whether you prefer Adrian Cronauer or Euphegenia Doubtfire.

But his death has also pushed depression and mental health right to the top of the agenda.

Whether it is Alan Brazil’s crass ramblings on his radio show or the swathes of articles all ending with contact details for various, wonderful charities, more people are talking about depression in the last few days.

Like with cancer and dementia, most of us know people who have suffered some form of mental illness. Depression does not discriminate.

For me, the immaturity of youth had left me with mounting debts, letters I couldn’t bare to open and a house I could no longer afford.

I was fortunate that I knew exactly what I needed to get my life back on course – to return home to my mum and dad, even though I was approaching my mid-twenties.

I don’t proclaim to be an expert, merely to have some, small form of understanding towards any one, of any background, who suffers from a mental illness.

To keep talking about it and acting on it must become Mork’s greatest legacy.