The Children of Robin Williams Remember Dad
The untimely death of Robin Williams at the age of 63 has left the three adult children he clearly adored stricken with grief.
Zak, Williams's 31-year-old son with ex-wife Valerie Velardi, as well as Zelda, 25, and Cody, 22, his children from his marriage to Marsha Garces, offered emotional statements about the comedic actor in the wake of his death.
[Related: The Family Robin Williams Left Behind]
Zak: "Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. 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."
Zelda: "My family has always been private about our time spent together. 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. 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.
"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. We'll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again."
[Related: Robin Williams Memorials Pop Up From Coast to Coast]
Zelda received an onslaught of responses to her statement, some very positive and many quite the opposite. Some showed altered photos of her father and some calling her disgusting names. It was all too much for her (understandably) and she announced that she was quitting her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
I'm sorry. I should've risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye.
— Zelda Williams (@zeldawilliams) August 13, 2014
"I will be leaving this account for a but while I heal and decide if I'll be deleting it or not," she wrote on Instagram along with a photo of a butterfly. "In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary. There are a couple throughout, but the real private moments I shared with him were precious, quiet, and believe it or not, not full of photos or 'selfies'. I shared him with a world where everyone was taking their photo with him, but I was lucky enough to spend time with him without cameras too. That was more than enough, and I'm grateful for what little time I had. My favorite photos of family are framed in my house, not posted on social media, and they 'll remain there. They would've wound up on the news or blogs then, and they certainly would now. That's not what I want for our memories together. Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo."
Cody: "There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. 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."
Cody and Zelda's mother, Marsha Garces Williams, issued a sweet statement of her own. She was married to the comedian from 1989 to 2010.
"My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you," her statement read. "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."
Of course, Williams's wife of nearly three years, Susan Schneider, spoke out once the news broke Monday. "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings," she wrote. "I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."