Over the last couple of days it seems that there was some kind of compulsory law to write about Robin Williams.
I find all this faux grieving somewhat saddening. It is typical of the modern culture that idolises the cult of the celebrity.
I was saddened by his passing as I liked some of his films, but that was it. I can't see why I should grieve more for him than for any of the hundreds who commit suicide in Ireland every year. They too represent a tragic event in the lives of their families. They too have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, yet their final act of desperation goes relatively unnoticed except in their immediate communities.
They estimate that four hundred people kill themselves in Ireland each year, but seeing as coroners have a habit of recording "accidental death" or "death by misadventure" to spare the feeling of the families, the true figure will be a hell of a lot higher.
There is international panic over the Ebola outbreak in Africa yet the deaths there pale into minute insignificance compared to the death toll from suicide here, and the toll increases each year as the pressures imposed by an uncaring society become increasingly hard to tolerate.
Every day the papers triumphantly announce another death on our roads and the craw-thumping powers that be cry about tougher legislation to cut road deaths, yet far more people die by suicide and get barely a mention. And it is those self same righteous who impose a society which is evermore demanding and ever less caring about the individual.
So grieve for Robin Williams if you must, but spare a thought for those closer to home.
Just because you haven't heard their name doesn't make them less important.