Dear Mr. Keating,
You don’t know me but ever since 1989 I desperately wanted a seat in your English class at the Welton Academy. I know you were let go, and you no longer work there, but I still want that chance to be there. I want to take risks and live life to the fullest. I want to walk around the courtyard looking foolish but free, or perhaps have a chance to exercise my right not to walk at all. (The little pun is intended to please you).
I want to rip out the words of Mr. Prichard from the assigned textbook, and stand upon my desk to see the world as it is, perhaps for the very first time.
You’ve made a deep impression on my soul over the years. One that refuses to fade. An impression that has molded me into the person I am.
You are as real to me as the man who gave you life. The two of you are inseparable and this is why I hope these few words find you well. I hope you may reach and share my thoughts with your other self and tell him that we miss him dearly.
Seize the Day.
The man you are certainly did.
Please give my warmest regard to your friend Robin Williams.
We have never met, but strangely, I somehow feel I knew him.
I didn’t know that side of him that was constantly and relentlessly pursued by demons. I had no real experience of the courage he must have had to fight those dark forces and offer his undying resistance.
To the world, he was funny, at times outrageous, but always benevolently generous. To me, he will always be you.
I hope you miss him too, Mr. Keating. He left a void that is hard to fill.
I don’t know many actors who would take the time to share some hearty laughter with a director as he descends into the depths of hell. Who else would have had the grace to drop everything they were doing and fly away, to be by the bedside of a dying fan.
He stood by Superman!
He stood by many.
He made millions laugh. He made millions cry. He made this young man realize that it is a divine calling to leave your mark and to seize every moment.
We really miss him.
I wish there were no demons. I wish we had more time. I wish we could experience his new film and he could make us laugh all over again. I wish we could continue life as it was.
In the final analysis, he gave us much. He seized his day.
He gave us you, Mr. Keating.
And the world is a far more beautiful place.
A Prospect of the Dead Poets Society