Robin Williams' Daughter Speaks Out: 'No Point Questioning' Suicide (Video)
In her first public comments since her father's death, Zelda Williams also talks about her father's legacy and how people should remember her father the way they want to.
Robin Williams' daughter isn't questioning or trying to explain why her father killed himself last August. She's just trying to move on and keep his memory alive. But she's also not going to try to define what people think about her dad.
"People should remember what they want to remember of him. Who am I to guide what their childhood memories are of watching his movies," Zelda Williams said in an exclusive interview with NBC's Today show that aired on Thursday morning. “That’s their memories, that's what's important. I have mine and they are mine and I love that.” And they are private and lovely and perhaps very different, but who knows what the difference is. They have their memories. They should enjoy them. They're not going anywhere. The world, as I said, keeps spinning, but that doesn't mean that he was never on it."
Even though people want to know why the comedian took his life, Zelda said she's not asking that question.
"I don't think there's a point … It's not important to ask because it's [done]," she said, gesturing with her hands to indicate that something has already happened.
"Diseases are — until we find out exactly how they work, we don't have an explanation. So there's no one I can offer," she added. "A lot of people who have been through it and lost someone, the ones that have been through it and that I've found have gone on to lead very full lives have found that they just had to know that there's no point questioning it. And there's no point blaming anyone else for it, or there's no point blaming yourself or the world or whatever the case may be because it happened and you have to continue to move and you have to continue to live and manage."
That's exactly what she's trying to do, telling NBC News' Kate Snow in her first public comments since her dad died that she's "taking it one step at a time." She acknowledges that there will be some rough patches but she's trying to hold onto the positive memories of her dad.
“For me, especially, It’s going to take a lot of work to allow myself to have the sort of fun, happy life that I had, but that's important," she said. "Anybody who has ever lost anyone works very hard to continue that memory in a positive way."
The hummingbird tattoo she got shortly after her father's death helps.
"Sometimes there are going to be days where things are really difficult and having a reminder that is permanently there is nice," she said.
As for why a hummingbird, she explained: "They're fun and flighty and strange. It's hard to keep them in one place and Dad was a bit like that. Keeping a conversation in one moment was impossible with him. It was a bit like trying to put a bag around a storm and hoping that it wouldn't just blow away."
Zelda recently tweeted that she wants people to talk about mental health. She told Snow that she wants "people to be more accepting," and thinks "people are finally starting to approach talking about illnesses that people can't immediately see … Nothing happens all at once, but I think we're on our way."
When asked what she would think if making people more open about mental health was part of her father's legacy, Zelda said, "I think he'd love that. He talked about his alcoholism … he joked about it, because you're supposed to … If you have things that make you sad, I do take from him that you should turn them into things that you can at least express to other people or in his case he would make jokes about it because it helped him not hide it. I think it was important to him for people to talk about important things. It meant a lot to him. He didn't like people feeling like the things that were hard for them, [that] they should go through alone. I think that's the big legacy for him, and for me and for my brothers is that he somehow had an enormous number of people in this world who felt that he made them feel a little less alone."
Zelda's also trying to carry on her father's charity work, presenting a "Noble Award" on Friday night that honors her father's work with disabled athletes through the Challenged Athlete Foundation. The money from Friday night's event in Los Angeles will be used to start a Robin Williams Fund for athletes with disabilities.
Watch Zelda's full interview in the clips below.