Reading about the death of Robin Williams, the only thought that came to me was that his death is so much in sync with the cliche of a comedian succumbing to depression - the contradiction innate to human life.
Reading an old interview of his I came across these lines on the American grief industry,
"I think people want it. In a weird way, it’s trying to keep hope alive."
I don’t think however, that it is just the Americans who do that. I cannot speak for others but, I know for one that even the way the Indian society deals with grief is similar to an industry that seeks to ‘mythologise’ the dead. The Indian way of looking at the mythology of the dead resonated with the proverb of hanging a garland over the picture framed and hung on the wall. Or so as to say, one makes a different person altogether when one dies in any other manner than old age. What drives people to glorify the dead only of course, after one dies, is seemingly difficult to point out. Is it the prospect of their own death looming someday that scares them or retribution, who knows!