Editor, Index-Tribune:

While I couldn’t call Robin Williams a friend, he was all around me during my rock and roll days in San Francisco in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Always on, always funny. The bit he did on golf with his dead-on Scottish accent is for the ages. But the takeaway here is the profound loss I feel for his wife and children and the fact that, as a society, we don’t take seriously the pain and struggle associated with depression and alcoholism.

Coming from a family in which my grandfather committed suicide under the same factors drove home the point, to me, that loved ones need to remain vigilant, and remember you’re dealing with illness with difficult cures.

As we move through these sad days, when the world seems to be literally burning up, let’s remember we are all in this together and help should be easy. Regrettably, it is not.

Michael Coats