The Duke of Sussex and Robin Williams’ son Zak have spoken of the difficulties of grieving a family member who was known to the public.
The couple spoke in “I Can’t See: One Way Forward,” which was released on Apple TV in the early hours of Friday morning and followed the documentaries by Oprah Winfrey and Harry.
Robin Williams, the four-time Oscar winner, died of suicide in 2014, with honors paid from around the entertainment world.
Zak said, “From my end, it has been really difficult to separate the process of private mourning from sharing it with the public.
“It really wasn’t until a year and a half after my father’s death that I had the opportunity to really concentrate on the private mourning process.”
The Duke, whose mother Diana, Princess of Wales, died in 1997, said: “I think we have many experiences in common when you talk about it … when you see so many people around the world mourning someone they feel as if it were them she knew better than you in weird ways because you are unable to grieve yourself.
“It’s like … how do you grieve more for someone who was my parent and I can’t grieve myself?”
On the 90-minute show, experts on The Me You Can’t See Advisory Board continued to discuss issues raised during the five-part series on mental health.
At the beginning of the documentaries, Harry said he was “a little ashamed” of the way he treated Meghan, who shared her suicidal thoughts ahead of a charity event at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2019.
Harry took up a point made by Jo Robinson, director of suicide prevention research at Orygen, about the importance of being open about suicide and self-harm.
Such communication helps to express something that is “terribly disturbing and terribly frightening to talk about,” she said.
The Duke said, “I find it so interesting because so many people are afraid of being at the end of this conversation (about suicide) because they don’t feel they have the right tools to give the right advice but what you say is that you are there
“Listen, because listening and being part of this conversation is without a doubt the best first step you can take.”
Harry also told Winfrey that he believed that mental health and climate change are “two of the most pressing problems we face and that they are related in many ways”.
“The connecting line is about our collective wellbeing, and when our collective wellbeing deteriorates, it affects our ability to ultimately take care of ourselves, our communities and our planet,” added the 36-year-old.
“We have to create a more supportive culture for one another, in which challenges do not have to live in the dark, in which vulnerability is healthy and nurtured and in which, of course, physical and mental health can be treated equally because they are one.”
Pop superstar Lady Gaga and actress Glenn Close also appeared on the series. Gaga discussed her serious mental health problems after being raped as a teenager.
Close returned for the conversation special and spoke about the effects of Covid-19 on her wellbeing.
She said to Harry and Winfrey, “It had a direct effect on my sanity. It helped that I had a dog.
“I think – and I thought about it today – we have now had an amazing, unprecedented time. For me it is as big a change in the world as September 11th.
“We are now in a changing world. It will be a while before we can tell ourselves what the result of this was for us as individuals. “
– Anyone who needs confidential emotional support themselves can call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123 or send an email to [email protected]