The world changed forever on August 11, 2014 when Academy Award-winning comedic actor Robin Williams died by suicide.
Today, July 21, his son Zachary or "Zak" still feels a gaping hole in his heart from his father's passing. He shared a message on Instagram to commemorate Robin on his birthday, seven years after his death. The 38-year-old expressed in his caption, "Dad, on what would be your 70th birthday, I would want you to know that your incredible spirit lives within us."
He continued, "Our family will be celebrating you and your memory today. We miss you and love you always!"
Before Robin died, he was incorrectly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Months after his tragic death, an autopsy revealed that the Good Will Hunting actor had actually experienced what was called Lewy Body Dementia. Zak spoke about the "frustration" his father dealt with in his final years on Robin's 70th birthday.
"What he was going through didn't match one to one [with what] many Parkinson's patients experience," Zak said on the July 21 episode of The Genius Life podcast, per People. "So, I think that was hard for him."
The 38-year-old added that his father struggled with focusing and was "very uncomfortable." He continued, "There were issues associated with how he felt and also from a neurological perspective he didn't feel great."
The actor's son also revealed that medications Robin took were "really hard on the mind and the body." He said what he felt for his father was "beyond empathy" and the son was "frustrated."
Zak stated, "It can be really isolating even when you're with family and loved ones." Only two years passed between Robin's misdiagnosis and his death. Zak said about that time period, "It felt a lot longer than it actually was because it was a period for him of intense searching and frustration."
After his father died, Zak said he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and turned to alcohol to cope. But he later got help through a 12-step program for addiction recovery, as well as group therapy, he shared. Zak is now a CEO of Prepare Your Mind, a wellness and anxiety-alleviating product he worked on after his father's death. He is also a mental health advocate.