I loved him in so so many movies throughout my childhood. From Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, Jumanji, Fern Gully and Flubber to my favorites as an adult - Dead Poet's Society, Good Morning Vietnam and Good Will Hunting. But it was his performance in Patch Adams that touched me the most. Not the part where he puts bed pans on his feet and walks around like a clown for children with cancer; or even when he makes the front doors of the university auditorium into a woman's vagina for the visiting gynecologists - a huge banner above the spread paper mâché legs that reads: "Welcome Gynos. At your cervix!". It's the way he reads Sonnet XVII I Do Not Love You that makes me cry - every time. It's the way he perfectly portrays the monumental sentiment and meaning behind the words. It's the way his performance made me fall so in love with a poem that I would later incorporate verses of it into my own wedding vows.
I've never been effected by a celebrities passing before. I've never cried or been overwhelmed by genuine sadness. Why would I? I've never met them. I've never shared memories or laughs or stories.
But last night I laid in my bed and I cried thinking about the huge hole Robin William's passing will leave in the world. I cried thinking about how a man whose entire life was dedicated to making millions of people - people like you and me - smile and laugh could feel so unbelievably sad, broken and alone that he could take his own life.
The Academy said it better than anyone ever could yesterday when they tweeted:
"Genie, you're free."