Robin Williams Found Peace 8 Years Ago — His Last Words Were to Wife Who 'Was Drowning along with Him'
Robin Williams was well-known and loved in Hollywood and beyond. However, he was fighting silent battles regarding his mental and physical health, through which his relationship with his wife also suffered.
Williams and his wife, Susan Schneider, met by chance in an Apple store in 2007. Schneider remarked that she had seen a man in the store, and she realized it was Williams at second glance.
She described that he was quietly walking around the store and was wearing a camouflage print. As she walked out of the store, she looked at him again and noticed that he was smiling at her.
Robin Williams attends the 2010 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on August 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Schneider then decided to approach Williams and strike up a conversation. She went over and asked how well his camouflage outfit was doing in concealing his identity. He responded by mentioning that it wasn't working and said:
“You found me.”
Williams was 56 at the time, and after having gone through two previous failed marriages, he was happy to find lasting love at that age. He and Schneider were madly in love with one another.
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider arrive backstage at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
Schneider shared that they enjoyed going to museums together because she knew a lot about art, and Williams was a history buff who could educate her on many things. She also confirmed that his on-stage persona differed from his home persona.
The comedian's wife said that she would never have married a man like Williams was on stage and admitted that he was quiet, thoughtful, and intellectual in the privacy of their home, which she loved.
Their love for one another was so apparent that even the priest who performed their wedding commented on how beautiful the couple was. He described their wedding day as beautiful and "very quiet."
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider arrive at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Old Dogs" held at the El Capitan Theatre on November 9, 2009 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
He then said that both Schneider and Williams were actively involved in their ceremony, and he enjoyed that. He mentioned that he encouraged the pair to write their own vows, and they followed his advice.
The wedding comprised only the couple's close family, friends, and neighbors. Rev. Dalton, who officiated the ceremony, also shared:
‘They also invited my wife and I to stay for the wedding dinner which was very lovely of them. Usually we just leave 20 minutes or so after the ceremony.’
WILLIAMS AND SCHNEIDER LIVED IN DARKNESS FOR THREE YEARS
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider attend the 2010 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on August 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
The couple lived in wedded bliss for two years, but sadly in the third year, something strange began happening with Williams' health. Williams began to notice that he couldn't remember scripts.
He also complained about stomach pain and trembling while struggling to sleep at night. However, what was most apparent to Schneider was the uncontrollable anxiety her husband was experiencing.
Scheider mentioned that it was out of character for Williams to be anxious, and it concerned for her. She couldn't fully understand what was going on with the love of her life. Eventually, Williams was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia (LBD).
Actor Robin Williams and wife Susan Schneider are sighted leaving the 'Alex Singer' bike store on October 26, 2011 in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images
The symptoms of LBD can change frequently, and it is difficult for the patient and the carer to manage, precisely what Scheider and Williams experienced. However, the couple did their best to enjoy their time together by doing the simple things they lived, like enjoying celebrations and meals with friends and even just holding hands.
Because of his inability to remember his lines, Williams' self-confidence plummeted, and Schneider recalled:
“Powerless and frozen, I stood in the darkness of not knowing what was happening to my husband. Was it a single source, a single terrorist, or was this a combo pack of disease raining down on him?”
Susan Schneider and Robin Williams pose backstage at the hit play "Bengal Tiger at The Baghdad Zoo" on Broadway at The Richard Rogers Theater on June 15, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Schneider mentioned that he had said multiple times that he wanted to reboot his brain and could not be excited about any negative test results doctors gave him because they both knew that deep down, something was wrong.
However, she was constantly by her husband's side. She shared: "Foundation of friendship and love was our armor," and said they fought against his disease together even during the most challenging times.
WILLIAMS CONTINUED TO FIGHT WHILE SCHNEIDER DROWNED WITH HIM
Susan Schneider and comedian Robin Williams attend The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Initially, Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson's, but he knew that that couldn't be the correct diagnosis because he felt he was losing his mind. He got the LBD diagnosis only later, which made sense to him.
Before the LBD diagnosis, Williams was battling to understand what was going on with him and asked doctors if he had Alzheimer's or dementia. Schneider supported him throughout these confusing times.
Robin Williams and wife Susan Schneider are sighted leaving the 'Alex Singer' bike store on October 26, 2011 in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images
While Williams did everything he could to take care of his health, like physical therapy, yoga, meditation, and bike riding, he could not keep his health intact for too long. He even tried self-hypnosis to no avail.
Schneider revealed that Williams had a slight tremor in his left hand that came and went, walked in a shuffle-like way and often found himself frozen and was frustrated when he could finally move again.
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider arrive at 62nd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Scheider also said that throughout his battle, he experienced nearly all of the 40-plus symptoms you can experience with LBD, but he never experienced hallucinations. She also admitted:
“I felt like he was drowning in his symptoms, and I was drowning with him.”
Despite feeling like she was drowning, Schneider made it her mission to stick beside Williams and make their remaining days together as special as they could be, while still focusing on Williams' health journey.
WILLIAMS DEDICATED HIS FINAL WORDS TO SCHNEIDER
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider having lunch at Nello on October 03, 2010 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Williams' doctor told him and Schneider that they should consider sleeping in separate beds during his illness. Williams then asked Schneider if that meant that they were separating, which Schneider confirmed was not happening.
Per the doctor's instructions, Schneider and Williams slept in separate rooms but maintained their love and devotion. However, on one tragic night, everything changed for the couple.
It was an average night, and Schneider and Williams were about to go to bed. Williams offered his wife a foot massage, and she recalled that when she declined, he looked upset but didn't say so.
Susan Schneider and Robin Williams arrive at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'Old Dogs' at the El Capitan Theatre on November 9, 2009 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
He then got ready for bed and said, "Goodnight, my love." However, he returned to the room several times, once to close his closet and once to fetch his iPad. Schneider was happy to see him taking an interest in his iPad. She thought it might be a sign of good things to come.
The following day, Schneider realized that the previous evening was the last one she would spend with her husband. She left their home the next day while Williams was still asleep but asked his assistant to tell him to call Schneider when he woke up.
By 11:30, Williams' assistant, Rebecca, called Schneider to let her know that Williams still had not woken up. Schneider immediately knew something was wrong and told Rebecca to go and check on him.
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider pose at The Opening Night After Party for "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" on Broadway at Espace on March 31, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
When she got home, Schneider revealed that she could not see Williams past the emergency services trying to save him after he took his own life. She eventually got to be by his side and prayed with him. She also told him that she forgave him.
The star's wife then admitted that she thought he didn't want to go to the neurocognitive testing facility he was scheduled to visit a week after he took his own life. She shared his thoughts, saying:
“I think he didn’t want to go. I think he thought: ‘I’m going to get locked up and never come out.’”
Susan Williams, the widow of Robin Williams, talks about her late husband during an interview that will air on THE VIEW, on Wednesday, November 4 | Source: Getty Images
Schneider said she was grateful that some of the last words he spoke to her were loving ones. She even mentioned that the love sheshared
with Williams was "what [she] always dreamed of love to be."
Williams' wife admitted that time had not functioned the same for her since Williams took his own life. She also said that his last words to her still echo through her heart, and she has a renewed search for meaning.
Talking about Williams taking his life, Schneider said she didn't have any hard feelings against him because he would have three years left, and they would not be healthy years.
Robin Williams and Susan Schneider pose at the premiere of Magnolia Pictures' 'World's Greatest Dad' at The Landmark Theater on August 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Schneider has channeled her search for meaning in the world intoteaching
at the William's School in Norfolk, Virginia. Schneider continues to pursue this avenue while her husband entered eternal peace eight years ago.