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robin williams, zak williams, zelda williams, robin williams tribute
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Williams

"You wonderful, hairy man."

The world lost a bit of its light the day Robin Williams passed away. The beloved actor known for his eccentric comedy skills and generous heart took his own life in August 2014 at the age of 63. He would have been 71 this year.

It’s admittedly a little trite to say “his spirit lives on in his children,” but the phrase certainly feels true when reading the loving, endearing and, of course, humorous tributes made by Willams' son and daughter marking the eighth anniversary of his death.

Zak Williams, 39, shared a picture of his father on social media with a caption that read, “Dad, on the eighth anniversary of your passing, I'm remembering how incredibly kind and joyful you were. I deeply miss you you wonderful, hairy man and will be celebrating your life today. Love you so so much!”

Williams had previously been misdiagnosed with Parkinson's disease. His autopsy revealed that he instead suffered from a form of progressive dementia called Lewy body dementia, which is particularly hard to diagnose and can cause hallucinations, concentration challenges and memory problems. Like Parkinson’s, it can also create movement problems.


Williams was a master at many things, but physical comedy and quick wit were at the top of the list. He was certainly more than a source of laughter, but I can only imagine what it must feel like to suddenly lose a bit of yourself that makes you you.

Zak, a mental health advocate, reflected on how knowing his father’s true condition led him to even deeper compassion during an episode of the podcast “The Genius Life.”

“There was a focus issue that frustrated him, there were issues associated with how he felt and also from a neurological perspective he didn't feel great. He was very uncomfortable. I couldn't help but feel beyond empathy. I couldn't help but feel frustrated for him. It can be really isolating even when you're with family and loved ones,” he told host Max Lugavere.


It seems Zak has inherited his father’s sense of humor. On July 21, 2022, what would have been Williams' 71st birthday, Zak posted a photo of Williams in full bike gear alongside the words, "Happy 71st Birthday Dad! I'll be remembering you today as you would want to be remembered, in spandex.”

Willliams’ daughter Zelda Williams, 33, shared a quote by Haruki Murakami on Twitter.

“And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in."

This quote was followed by a list of suicide prevention resources, many that the comedian’s daughter had cited in the past.

Zelda added, “'I don't ask for much, but if I may, be gentle to your hearts today. I know I'm trying.”

Robin Williams was a brilliant actor who left behind a legacy of iconic roles, both in comedies like “Mrs. Doubtfire” and in dramas like “Good Will Hunting.” One could chalk it up to god-given talent. He definitely had that in spades. But it was also his incredibly generous spirit that allowed him to easily connect with people, be it through tears or laughter. Though he is sorely missed, his life and works continue to be an inspiration.

Tasty snacks that give back

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In a survey earlier this year, we heard from you—our Upworthy audience—that hunger is an issue you really care about. We agree that addressing hunger is critical. The data shows that 13 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition so we began to look for ways we could help.

There is no single, easy solution to the hunger crisis. Earlier this year, Congress passed $11 billion legislation to direct food aid where it is needed most, and aid is coming from governments and agencies around the world to help curb the crisis.

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Some of This Saves Lives' most meaningful work has been providing food through its partner Second Mile Haiti. Consider Planika, who at five and a half years old weighed only 22 pounds, the average weight of a 1 year old. Her aunt took her to Second Mile Haiti and after six weeks of life-saving food, she gained over 15 pounds. At the age of 7, Planika was healthy enough to start a school where she loves learning the alphabet.

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Christina Applegate's Walk of Fame speech highlights the importance of showing up for friends

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Kids watching their parents dance to Taylor Swift is sheer delight.

We all know parenting can be tough, but if there's one thing that makes the roller coaster of emotions totally worth it, it's seeing our children's faces light up with joy.

Children's smiles are infectious, and not in the scary pandemic kind of a way. There's simply nothing better in this world than the face of a bright-eyed little human beaming with happiness, which is why a recent TikTok trend has people grinning from ear to ear themselves.

The premise is simple: The parent asks the kid to record them dancing to Taylor Swift's "Love Story" with the screen facing away from them (under the guise that the parent dancing needs to see themselves). So instead of recording the parent dancing, it's actually recording the kid's face watching them.

And oh, the love and joy on these kids' faces is so, so sweet to witness. Watch:

@thechavezfamilyy

The end 😭😭 why am I bawling at this trend?! He’s SO CUTE #momsoftiktok #momtok #toddlersoftiktok

That face. OMG.

And check out the encouragement from this little fella:

@themarshhfamily

The end did it for me 🥹😭I birthed such a sweet, loving and encouraging little boy!! #momtok #toddlersoftiktok #taylorswiftchallenge #lovestorychallenge #boymom #toddlermom

Seriously, seeing close-ups of kids' joy should be a daily thing.

@makingthemoffitts

#nationaladoptionmonth #adoptionawareness #thisisadoption #thisisfostercare #adoption #fostercare #makingthemoffitts #lovestorychallenge #taylorswift

Some dads have gotten in on the trend as well. Look at the way this little girl beams at her daddy.

@durbanofamily

Had to jump on the trend! Love this beautiful girl!

Of course, part of the beauty of having kids is you simply never know what they're going to do. While some youngsters gaze lovingly at their parents while they dance, others have a … well … different reaction. Check out this girl's facial expressions:

@haleigh.booth

It’s the side eye at the end for me 😆😂😂😂😂

Hilarious. And because this is the internet, naturally someone had to do the TikTok trend with their dog. Gotta admit, Ellie's toothy grin is pretty darn cute as well.

@elliegoldenlife

This is why I don’t dance 😂

TikTok trends can sometimes be strange, annoying or problematic, but once in a while one comes along that brings people together in surprisingly delightful ways. Seeing people's kids' pure enjoyment watching their parents being silly is simply the best.