So there I was rushing around the house like a bargain hunter at a Primark closing down sale, when Mark’s three little words stopped me dead in my tracks.
“Robin William’s dead.”
I stopped stuffing spare clothes into Tommy’s essential items bag, and gasped.
“Robin Williams, the funny one? How?”
I gasped even louder and nearly dropped the essential items bag.
But he was a comedian, he was always making people laugh, he was always happy, wasn’t he?
Well apparently not.
I looked at Tommy, who was making frustrated noises at his milk bottle, which was standing next to his lunch box, which was waiting to be packed inside the car, and wondered about Robin’s children. How the heck do you tell kids something like that? I remembered seeing a picture of his children in the newspaper once, they were older than Tommy, and old enough to understand what suicide meant and the pain that accompanied it.
I confess, in the past, to a low tolerance towards the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Loosing a loved one is hard enough, but to know they chose to leave you and leave all the mess behind they’d created, I found that hard to swallow.
Despite the fact I had never met the man, Mr Williams cause of death contradicted my previous views on suicide. Because he'd always come across as so sweet and charming, and very, very funny. I couldn’t find it in me to despair of his last act on earth and mention the word selfish. He was obviously very, very unhappy.
Mental illness is, luckily, not something I am familiar with. Severe depression has, luckily, escaped me. Sure I've been down, but there has never been a time where I've thought the only answer is to end it all.
I couldn't remove the morning's disturbing news from my head, as I spent the remainder of the time in my house preparing for my day ahead.
It unnerved me that someone as popular, as loved, as talented, and let's face it very, very, rich as he could be so desperately depressed that they could think that's it, I have to kill myself.
Mark and I finished dressing Tommy and packing the car in silence. Somehow we'd lost our sense of urgency. For did it really matter if we were a few minutes late and I missed my usual train? There'd be another one soon enough.
But there wouldn't be another Robin Williams.
Once all three of us were safely seat belted, Mark switched on the radio. It was flooded with news and tributes to the comedian/actor. I checked Facebook and Twitter on my mobile, as expected the world was in shock and mourning.
Apparently he had many demons, alcohol and drugs and severe depression all took their toll. "Perhaps other people will be encouraged to talk about their depression and seek help before it's too late," was a much quoted sentence on August 11th 2014.
Let's hope so.
Mark drove me to the train station where I hugged Tommy goodbye, a little tighter than usual. I kissed Mark goodbye, a little fiercer than usual. I was thankful for our simple life, our cheery, uncomplicated life and attitudes.
I bought my train ticket and boarded my train and still I couldn't stop thinking about Robin Williams. Over the years he had embraced my television screen. I recalled laughing out loud at his portrayal of an alien living on earth, his extremely funny adaptation of a woman pretending to be a man, and his genius comedy act where he was a genie for a little boy.
He could do all those marvellous things, but he just couldn't be happy.
Sad, isn't it.
I hope he's at peace now.