The reverend who officiated Robin Williams’ marriage to graphic designer Susan Schneider has released statements following the news of Williams’ death.
Reverend Peadar Dalton said that Robin Williams was friendly but more quiet and reserved than his famous persona would have people believe, according to The Independent. He met Robin Williams at a memorial service Dalton officiated seven years ago. After their meeting, Robin Williams’ office called Dalton to see if he would be interested in officiating Robin’s wedding with Susan. Peadar admitted he didn’t quite recognize Robin the minute he saw him.
“I was looking at [Robin Williams] thinking ‘I know who you are,’ but I was trying to put a name on him until he introduced,” said the minister. “I was honored and privileged to officiate that [wedding] on October 22, 2011. It was in a beautiful place called Meadowood in Napa Valley.”
The minister described the physical pain he felt when he heard the news of Robin Williams’ suicide:
“My initial reaction was just a bolt of sadness went through my belly for the country.”
Reverend Dalton is an Irish-born man now residing in California. He told RTE’s Morning Ireland that Robin Williams was “very different” than the man people know from the movies and on television.
“When he came in to my office [he was] quiet, very personal, friendly, expressing gratitude for me being available to meet with them,” the reverend explained. “[Robin Williams was] very ordinary and down to earth and very involved with the preparation of the wedding ceremony, and very sensitive towards listening to Susan’s areas she wanted included in the wedding ceremony. Couldn’t be more gracious and couldn’t be more calm and just very appreciated and spoke about how much he loved visiting Ireland.”
Robin’s wedding was full of mostly close friends and family with the exception of one other celebrity: Billy Crystal. The picture Dalton paints of Robin Williams is of a very private man, possibly hiding the darker parts of his mind. Dalton, who is a trained counselor and therapist, has treated people with depression in the past. He described the disease Robin Williams suffered from as walking into a dark room without a light switch.
“There’s no way in God’s earth that we can have any idea what happens to a person in this situation unless we have walked in their shoes or unless we are inside their heart and inside Robin’s feelings and heart,” Reverend Dalton added.
According to The IB Times, Robin Williams had been battling depression for quite some time leading up to his eventual suicide. Robin’s media representative Mara Buxbaum explained to CNN:
“[Robin Williams] has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
For more on Robin Williams, check out a list of some of the darker roles he played during his successful career.