I have wrestled the pen (so to speak) on stating anything via here or even a social media blip on the passing and circumstances around Robin Williams’ death. The fact is part of my pause is because I am still in shock. 
I grew up with Robin Williams starting with Mork and Mindy. No generation identifies more with the breadth and depth of his career than mine…the awkward and often identity-less Gen X. For some of us “latch key” kids, who were raised more by TV than parents…he IS the parent we never had. As he aged and matured and LIVED so did we…and we watched…and LEARNED. 
So as I deal with a mourning I am surprised by (none of us REALLY thinks it is “normal” to deeply mourn a celebrity (especially one we never met)?!…I am disturbed at the look in his eyes in photo after photo that flashes on the TV or across my social media feeds. There is clearly an emptiness there. Why didn’t I ever notice that before?…why didn’t anyone?…why didn’t anyone help?
By the grace of God go I.
That was my thought after 36 hours of mourning and tributes to Robin Williams.
Last night I had dinner with one of my #tribe, and it was amazing…thoughtful, yummy, deep, and funny. We were doing life together at that table. I was and am so grateful to people who want to do life with me to this level. Truly sharing the highs and lows…struggles and wins…questions and answers….with me and others. I have wrestled deeply since camp with what I saw and experienced, and last night was a release valve for my wrought spirit. As we shared back and forth last night, we both sensed the deepening and shift in our friendship. {Deep. Smile.}
So as I see fresh coverage on Robin Williams’ suicide, I am struck by the question in my heart…Did he have a tribe? Not friends…I know he had friends. Not family…I know he has family. Not co-workers…I know he has great peers. 
Did. He. Have. A. Tribe.???
At camp, I got asked by many…fellow counselors and campers alike to explain my tribe theory. I should post those conversations, but not in this one. The point today is that people are inanately curious about tribes because I believe they sense they are missing something in their lives, just like I did when I was first reading and cultivating my own beliefs on it. 
The fact is we need people in our life who we can be fully transparent with…whatever it is….who will be an encourager to us while also being a mirror to our face holder….who will love us and pray with and for us…who will intervene spiritually for us…who will push us and hold us. People who don’t expect us to have all of the answers, but openly share their knowledge and are willing to search out the answers with us that we don’t know. Who will let us be vulnerable and raw without judgement or scorn. People who will walk through life with us on the superficial levels, but more importantly on the deeper levels of life.
I have no judgement towards Robin Williams for taking his own life for I know in my heart that any one of us could be at that point at any given moment. What I am realizing is that what keeps me from the darkest of places is my “tribe” relationships where I am able to share the  darkness with…and they help direct me to the light. I am not sure that makes a great deal of sense in the wee hours of the morning as the sun rises in the distance, but somehow I believe it does…and not just to me.
This morning I am more grateful than ever for my tribe…for the gift of the original C7 and their gift of the tribe lesson…for a God who knew what I needed and sent it in a beautiful lesson wrapped in a messy swampy season of my life. Without my tribe, the race before me would be too much…Too. Much.
Life is hard. Growth sucks.
Yet…God is in the roses and the thorns. 
Tribes matter. We all need a tribe to walk through this life with…and then to celebrate with on the other side. 
Rest in peace Robin Williams. May we all reach for people more in light of the lessons in your death and the beauty of your life. 
Find and build your tribe…Today. ❤️☀️