In one of the more shocking and saddening pieces of recent news, it was announced yesterday that performer Robin Williams died at his home in Northern California. After battling ongoing depression, he reportedly took his own life on August 11th.

Robin Williams’ career spanned nearly 40 years, resulting in some of the most memorable performances in entertainment. He endeared audiences of all kinds with both comedic and serious roles, winning an Oscar with his performance in Good Will Hunting. He also hosted the Comic Relief stand-up benefits with Whoopie Goldberg and Billy Crystal, raising millions for the homeless.

Being a child of the ’80s and ’90s, I can’t even imagine what my sense of humor would be like without such a fun and lighthearted character to turn to time and time again. As a child I began to understand comedy after seeing Aladdin. As an adolescent I began to further understand the love and soul behind the written word when my mother nearly forced me to watch Dead Poets Society.

Robin Williams was the kind of figure that could touch audiences in endless ways, and he will definitely be missed. His work is a constant reminder to look into the depth of humanity, understand it for everything it is, and (as he says in his famous performance Live At The Met), just say “Fuck it!” Humor is one of the most important parts of sustaining our reality. In his own words, “Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.'”

Thank you, Robin.