by Kevin Crittenden

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes,when you fall, you fly”

(Neil Gaiman, Sandman Vol. 6)

I ponder a lot of things every day as most people do. where am I going, how long will I live? What will the legacy I leave behind? Is the race worth the effort? We as a species experience many things both good and bad, highs and lows, accomplishments and bitter failures. But the one thing that keeps us going (or in some cases holds us back) is the people we surround ourselves with to Make the journey a full experience. Love,companionship, friends , family. “You don’t have to be blood related to be family”.

Through my circles of friends , both online and real life, I’ve found common bonds through such mundane things and wrestling and star wars. Some of the best people I know I have met through these mutual interests; bonds that will stand the test of time long after we part ways. Through it all, beyond the chairshots, the hokey acting and convoluted storylines, its something to look forward to and discuss. Its one of my favorite times to enjoy during the week and keeps me going through the day a constant in a world every so quickly changing and evolving even as I speak.

Death is a natural and often cruel part of life, so is depression. Its a cruel mistress that consumes you in a black hole many feel is inescapable. Some go naturally, others feel there is no point in continuing the journey; looking up at that mountain , ever so steep and twisting, cruel and winding. They can’t carry the weight. I’ve lost several people to suicide. Friends and family.

In the wake of all this, we are left to wonder what we could have done to help or if we missed signs or if by proxy led to their demise. We just don’t know; people , either by choice or sense of pride, keep their demons inside. Choosing to wage the battle alone, not wanting to seem weak or ask for help. The best thing I can think of is talking to someone. A random act of kindness or just being there when someone needs you might just pull someone out of tailspin that day.

People can be cruel, especially through the anonymous void of the internet. A tool to help reach and connect with people we may never meet is also a device to break others down through fear, racism and bigotry.

I’m venting today because of the tragic passing of Robin Williams who lost his battle with depression. The vast outpouring of love and support for this very unique and special man has really touched me. Through social media, memories have been shared of his life and career and reflecting back on his life. his struggles with substance abuse and alcohol, to his bouts with depression. A brief peek into the life of a very complex individual.

With the well wishers have come the detractors, through the void of the net. From Fox News mocking him out for “taking the coward’s way out,” to someone I know saying he was “selfish” for leaving behind his family. Others verbally assaulted his daughter with photoshopped pictures of her fallen father. Where is the line of respect and debate drawn? To label someone who isn’t around anymore a coward? Cruel and heartless to a man who spent his life dedicated to making others smile and laugh, to visiting the troops overseas more times than anyone else.

In closing, let us not blame ourselves for losing someone this way, nor blame the individual . Let us strive to make one anothers adventures awesome and climb the mountains together.

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About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on