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Robin Williams’ son Zak shares emotional tribute to father seven years after he died by suicide



At around 11.55 am on August 11, 2014, officers responded to a 911 call from a house in San Francisco. Inside the house, officers found the dead body of Oscar-winner, idolized actor, and one-of-a-kind comedian—Robin Williams. “The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12.02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63-year-old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, California,” the police department said back then.

Seven years have passed since Williams ended his own life. And while the entire world mourned his death, the loss was felt most acutely by those closest to him. His eldest son, Zak Williams, has often spoken about the grief and even honored his father’s memory over the years in different ways. Zak also posted a heartfelt message on Twitter on the seventh anniversary of his father’s death.

“Dad, seven years ago today you passed on,” Zak wrote. “The joy and inspiration you brought to the world carries on in your legacy and in your family, friends, and fans you so loved. You lived to bring laughter and to help others. I will be celebrating your memory today. Love you forever.”

It was only about a year after the actor’s death when Zak felt the true weight of the actor’s loss. “From my end, I didn’t get a chance to focus on the private grieving process until about a year and a half after my dad passed away, meaning that I didn’t recognize that I needed to grieve privately,” he said during an interview with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry for the Apple TV+ series, The Me You Can’t See.

“After my dad took his life in August of 2014, my anxiety went into overdrive. I found myself depressed, anxious, traumatized, and unable to cope with daily life,” Zak said. With time, Zak was able to get through his struggles and went on to become the CEO of PYM, which is a product that “prepares your mind to produce the naturally occurring neurotransmitters that help you feel like yourself again.”

Along with being an advocate for mental health, Zak is currently a happily married husband and father of two children. As he raises his son and daughter, he has also been introducing them to the grandfather they were never able to meet.

“I have slowly started showing photos and pictures to my son, things from movies and in animation that my dad was in,” Zak previously said. “…We have photos and memories around our home and he’s drawn to them. And so when he sees the Genie from ‘Aladdin’ or when he sees a photo of his grandfather, he’s drawn to it. And so we talk about it… It’s a nice way to carry on my dad’s legacy related to our family history.”

As he spoke about losing a loved one and what he has learned from it, Zak added: “I’m not broken… through taking care of myself and committing to supporting myself I can show up for others in the way that I want to. And the healing and recovery process associated with experiencing a deep trauma relating to the suicide of a loved one is a process that takes a while and there’s ups and downs. But the key thing is that most of the time there’s opportunities to find joy and to figure out how to live a meaningful and happy life. So that’s what I’d say.”