Sharing a picture of his Oscar-winning actor father on Wednesday, Zak celebrated his "incredible spirit."
If Robin Williams was still alive he would have been celebrating his 70th birthday this week. Born on July 21, 1951, the legendary comedian said goodbye to the world on August 11, 2014. It's been almost seven years since he died, but his memories and treasure of knowledge live on through his fans and of course his family. Williams' sudden departure from the world devastated his family as they struggled to cope with the loss while continuing to miss him. For what would have been the comic's 70th birthday, his eldest son, Zak Williams, posted a heartwarming message on social media.
For the @KMHinesFound A1: #ElevatetheConvo Zak Williams @zakwilliams has been our motivation for #AAS21. Zak will discuss the journey of recovery following his father’s suicide (actor Robin Williams) as well as his recovery from subsequent substance use and mental health issues. pic.twitter.com/h8RKYu0QW2— A Voice at the Table (@AnnemarieMatul1) March 12, 2021
Sharing a picture of his Oscar-winning actor father on Wednesday, Zak celebrated his "incredible spirit." "Dad, on what would be your 70th birthday, I would want you to know that your incredible spirit lives within us. Our family will be celebrating you and your memory today. We miss you and love you always!" he wrote on Instagram, according to TODAY. The 38-year-old also shared the same picture on Twitter on that day with a different caption which read, "Today would be 70. Missing you especially much today. Love you always evermore."
Earlier this year, the 38-year-old appeared on the Apple TV+ series, The Me You Can't See, and opened up about the emotions he felt following his famous father's suicide. "From my end it was hard to separate initially the process of privately grieving versus sharing the grieving with the general public, both the American public and the world," he said during the interview with Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry. He struggled to mourn Williams' death in private, as his father's fans were grieving publicly. Soon this took a huge toll on his mental health.
"I found myself extremely emotionally disregulated and feeling vulnerable and exposed when I wasn't ready to be vulnerable," he shared, adding, "And that created a major challenge for me." It took Zak a long time to actually heal after understanding that he had to take time to process his emotions. "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," she expressed. "I am very thankful and appreciative that I did recognize how to set boundaries."
Hoping to keep the memory of his Willaims alive in a small yet meaningful way, the father-of-two named his first child (with wife Olivia June) after the late comedian's middle name McLaurin. At the time, Zak revealed that the pair had chosen the name McLaurin Clement Williams for their son which was a sweet nod to the Mrs. Doubtfire actor. The Good Will Hunting actor died by suicide in 2014 after suffering from a debilitating brain disease called diffuse Lewy body dementia or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) according to The Guardian.
Zak Williams, Robin William’s oldest child, shared thsee photos with me. We knew each other growing up in SF. He and his fiancée, Olivia June, recently welcomed their first child - McLaurin Clement Williams.Mickey for short! McLaurin was Robin’s middle name - a beautiful tribute. pic.twitter.com/AYidnKjX5Z— Kate Larsen (@KateABC7) June 14, 2019
At the age of 63, the Hollywood legend left behind Zak, whom he shared with his first wife, Valerie Velardi, daughter Zelda, 31, and son Cody, 29, with second wife Marsha Garces, and a widow Susan Schneider Williams. At the time Susan told PEOPLE, "It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms, and it was a small one." Following her husband's death, Susan tried very hard to understand the reason that pushed Williams off the edge. She learned about LBD only after his death and hoped that details of his case might help people know more and learn more about it and hopefully save other lives before it's too late.
Disclaimer: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)