Robin Williams is living on in the memory of his children — and his grandchild.
"His mom [Olivia June] and I have certainly considered how we want to introduce my son's grandfather, my dad, into his life," says Zak, who is on the Advisory Board of a new mental health program, Inseparable. "Certainly through his movies and the cartoons that he participated in is a great way. My son, Mickey, points at a cel that we have in his room of my dad that has the genie from Aladdin."
The couple has other cels, transparent sheets of celluloid that can be drawn on and used in the production of cartoons, from Robin's films in Mickey's room.
"He's got a collection of photos and animation cels throughout our home that he sees on a daily basis," says Zak. "I think it's being mindful and introducing the elements and stories about him slowly."
He continues, "We hope that we can celebrate the positive elements and his works and films in a way that there can be appreciation and acknowledgment of him both as an entertainer, but also as a family man, and parent and grandfather to my son. So, the key thing would be for us to introduce it slowly and meaningfully. Taking an opportunity to share stories and his values in a way that we hope can be appreciated and embodied."
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage Robin and Zak Williams
As for what he's learned since becoming a father in May 2019, the mental health advocate says becoming a dad "completely changes [you]."
"[It gives you] perspective on what it takes to actually show up for another person," he says. "To be a present and engaged parent requires focus and commitment to time and an effort that ... it's a lot. But the rewards are unlike anything I've experienced before."
He adds, "What was new to me was the amount of effort required to show up for a little human. It's been the most rewarding thing I've experienced to date."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.