Let Your Light Shine Anyway – On Robin Williams’ Death

Before I got up the gumption to call myself author and to pursue my dreams wholeheartedly, I was the queen bee of helpers. I was always encouraging others, and I admired people who were unapologetically themselves. Sometimes, as a writer, you quietly live out loud. You can bury your beliefs behind characters and sentiments, and if you’re really careful, you can avoid confrontation altogether. And rejection.

Robin Williams
Photo: howoldarethey.com

Robin Williams was that kindred spirit to all. – Author Joy W. Simone

He was a living, breathing example of being yourself fully, and simply in that, we loved him. We love him. His skill and work ethic were proof that gifts blossom based on our commitment to bring them out. Robin was an artist’s artist. I’ve never seen him in a role that he did not deliver and do it well, and with nuance. I loved him. He made it okay to be your quirky self, your goofy self, your nerdy, nonconformist self, your dance to the beat of your own drummer self.


And yet, we knew that he was somehow suffering, even if we couldn’t put our fingers on it. I am saddened and also angry because it was him, not his works, that I felt connected to. When he sat down for an interview, you felt that he was talking to you, sharing his deepest self with you, a voyeur and friend. Was there something we missed? Could we have “saved” Robin Williams? In these times, we see so much strife and conflict, senseless deaths, wars, and competition for mere survival.

Letting your light shine is serious business. . And so we honor those who dare to wholly… Be.

Do we accept the charge to take up the gauntlet? Or would we say those who shined brightest were living in vain?

Shine on, Robin! Peace to your soul.



More on Robin Williams:

CNN.com – Robin Williams was in early stages of Parkinson’s disease, wife reveals




CNN IReport Spotlight – Author Joy Simone: A Woman Addressing Challenges, Offers Solutions

book signingPlaywright, Songwriter, Journalist Charron Monaye’s interview highlights my passions and purpose, my writing process and inspiration.

Here’s a bit below. Visit the site to see more. 

Joy Simone is an author, SEO Analyst, and Adjunct English Lit. Professor at Rowan College. She has a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University and a Master’s of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. Ms. Simone blogs about relationships, dating, family, careers, and current events. She serves as Director of Communications for Women’s EDGE Mentoring Program, and conducts creative writing and self-publishing workshops locally.

She is passionate about writing, history, literature, education and family. The proliferation of single-parent households and the stereotypes of African American women led to her debut work, The Wedding Plan: A Collection of Short Stories. Through these stories, Simone highlights the challenges faced by African American women in relationships, marriage, careers and life, while exposing the diversity within the African American community, including male characters who are unique and offer a different perspective.


Your book “The Wedding Plan: A Collection of Short Stories” discusses the challenges faced by African American women in relationships, marriage, careers and life. What challenges do you feel we as African American women face the most, and what ideas do you have to help eliminate those challenges.

Some of the challenges African American women face is glass ceilings in the workplace, income disparities, joblessness, being among the “working poor”, and so on. One of the statistics that disturbed me most was the lower average of children born to the most educated women in our population. It seemed that by fighting to defy the “baby mama” stereotype, we were forfeiting motherhood. I know not all women want to be mothers, but there a lot who, rightfully, delay childbirth until marriage, but end up never marrying or marrying past the key childbearing years.

Other issues I see that are prevalent… Read More