Robin Williams’ adult children — Zack, Zelda and Cody Williams — remembered their father in statements Tuesday as a gentle, generous and warm man. There was also a nod to his more mischievous side.
Daughter Zelda, after acknowledging those who were sending kind wishes, noted that folks who were being negative about her dad’s death should know that “a small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car.”
Robin Williams was pronounced dead around noon Monday after his body was found by his personal assistant in a bedroom of his Tiburon home. Suicide by asphyxiation was cited by authorities as the likely cause of death; the actor, 63, hanged himself with a belt, authorities said Tuesday.
Zack Williams, the eldest son at 33, said in a statement, “Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day. I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought.”
Zack’s mother is Valerie Velardi, the funnyman’s first wife. Robin Williams decided to quit drugs and alcohol cold turkey about six month’s before his first son’s birth. “I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life,” Robin told People in 1988.
The family’s statements, including one from the comedian-actor’s second wife, Marsha Garces Williams, came via publicist Rachel Karten.
“My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you,” said Garces Williams, mother of Zelda and Cody and wife to the Oscar winner for 19 years. “Please remember the gentle, loving, generous — and yes, brilliant and funny — man that was Robin Williams. My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss.”
Susan Schneider, Robin Williams’ current wife, said in a statement Monday that she was “utterly heartbroken” over her the death of her husband, whom she’d married in 2011. She also asked for privacy and urged people to remember her spouse as he had lived, not as he died.
“There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father,” said 22-year-old Cody Williams, the youngest sibling. “The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.”
But it was Zelda Williams, whose 25th birthday on July 31 was the focus of her father’s final social-media posting, who incorporated that dash of humor into her official expression of grief.
“My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare,” she said.
“My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments. While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
“To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh,” Zelda Williams continued. “As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…
“Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”