Suicide Isn’t Funny

If 2011 were a person I would deem it to be a frenemy.  Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t allow such a ridiculous word tarnish this joint.  No sir, under normal circumstances I would pick it up by the scruff of its neck and with one mighty swing send it flying out the door.

But it is well after midnight and I haven’t time to search for a finer way to express myself.

2011 has been both friend and adversary. Since we have gained thousands of new readers I’ll recount some of the fun, but not all. You’ll have to do some reading on your own- don’t be lazy.

My grandfather died the first week of August. My sister was married the following week. The family went on a trip. We came back and we moved. Approximately one month later one of my brother-in-laws ended up on life support and came far too close too dying.

A friend of mine’s heart was broken when her infant son died. More hearts were broken when two very dear friends were forced to say goodbye to their fathers. The following month I and many others were shocked by the death of one our friends. She died a month short of her 41st birthday.

All of these things and more have made me very cranky. I don’t apologize for it- I am entitled to be irritated.

Fast forward to this Wednesday afternoon. I am trying to open a package that someone has undoubtedly coated in grease and elephant snot glue. I am having a devil of a time doing it and I mutter to myself,  “someone shoot me in the head, it would hurt less.”

I had thought that I was alone, but I was not. Little Jack, the smaller, smarter and better version of myself was there. A week short of 11 he tells me that suicide isn’t funny. He is right. It isn’t. I know four people who killed themselves and am well aware of how awful it can be.

But I didn’t say it with the intention of killing myself.

I want the record to be clear. If 2011 was a woman I would divorce/break up with her yesterday. The sex may be great but the pain and aggravation isn’t worth it.

If 2011 was a man I would do my best to walk away and or castrate him.

If 2011 was my job I would quit or just beat myself over the head with a bat. It would be faster.

But let me set the record straight. It has never been so bad that I wanted to throw in the towel. There have been plenty of good things and good times. I see daylight. I see opportunity and I see abundance.

And as a member of the very cranky man association I want to enjoy the success that is coming in large part so I can look back at 2011 and say Fuck you!

Attitude makes a significant difference. The kids hear that all the time. I try hard to make it clear that it is not just something that I say.

I also made a point to make sure that my son understood that what I said had no meaning. I am guessing that one day soon I’ll catch him using colorful language and he’ll tell me that what he said had no meaning. On that day I’ll be proud that he is smarter than I am and aggravated.

They are always watching and listening…these children of mine. But that is going to be a good thing because when push comes to shove they’ll see me push back and understand that when things get tough attitude makes a difference.

This won’t be the last I write or speak of 2011 but I have had enough for tonight. The last thing I have to say to 2011 is that I can’t wait to defenestrate your bony ass. Better buy a parachute because I am going to use the law of attraction to get what I want and that is higher up on my list.

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  1. Carolyn December 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I’m revisiting this post because a) the message is so important and b) your writing is sublime. I realize I’m risking your critique when I praise your writing, but you have a very skillful and engaging way of expressing yourself.

    With two close calls dealing with loved ones’ suicide attempts, I must agree with you, suicide is not funny. Nor is insanity. But neither is murder, yet that concept is thrown around lightly as well.

    2011 certainly wasn’t my worst year. In fact, it was a re-building year after the struggle of moving back to the US from England.

    I don’t know what 2012 holds, but I’m hoping the rebuilding of 2011 laid a strong foundation for 2012.

    I wish the best for you and your family in 2012, Jack!

    • Jack December 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Hello Carolyn,

      We have an ongoing discussion here about the power of words and how to use them.

      It is something that I think about regularly both as a writer and a parent.

      My language gets pretty colorful and veers towards the saltier side far more than it should.

      I expect that 2012 is going to be better for many of us because we are going to make a concentrated effort to do make it so.

      Thank you for the compliments on my writing, it is appreciated far more than you know.

  2. Aaron Biebert December 26, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Jack, I hear you and feel the same way. I think with your talent and great attitude that you’re destined for some really great stuff.

    Hang in there and here’s to a brighter 2012…Cheers!


    • Jack December 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      Hi Aaron,

      Thank you my friend, much appreciated. I don’t doubt that things will improve and life will change- nothing is stagnant.

      The trick is just figuring out how to get through the rough spots without losing too much of our hides. 😉

      Hope you are having a great holiday season.

  3. Renee Schuls-Jacobson December 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I hope you don’t mind if I re-post to my wall. This captures perfectly how I have felt this year. 2011 has been filled with joy, but a lot of sorrow. And suffering.

    Here’s hoping that 2012 brings less of the latter.

  4. The Hook December 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Your style is raw but wonderful! Great work,my friend.

  5. AdrienneSmith December 23, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I understand exactly what you’re saying Jack. Although my year was no where even close to yours, my cousin was shot and killed this past January right as 2011 was beginning. He was my age and the youngest of his family so to say his mother was devastated is an understatement. It was pretty rough on the family.

    Then we had a very close friend of the family pass away on the 30th of January so that was a double whammy. Then my poor Mom seemed to lose a friend every single month of this year. Sure, we are talking people in and over 70 but just because they are that age doesn’t make it that easier to lose someone you cared deeply for.

    Other than that I’ve had some wonderful things happen this year where other times I’m still scratching my head about what happened. But I see these as lessons I need to learn so that I can make each day better.

    I’m just going to pray that 2012 will be a much better year and things will go a little smoother for us all. I’m sorry for all your losses and let’s pray those are all behind us now. No more in the coming year.

    I hope you and your family have a Very Merry Christmas Jack and to a much better New Year!


  6. MimiMeredith December 22, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Hear! Hear! Can we charter the plane together from which we can defenestrate our 2011s? (I had to look it up–thanks for stretching my mind before I even completed my second cup of coffee!)

    But you’re right…there was too much good laced in with the bad–the baby I love in midst of murky bathwater. So, I’ll just drink a toast to 2011. It will be something like, “Thanks for those significant learning opportunities and aches that made my heart deeper and for the moments of pure joy. Now move along.”

    Thanks for sharing everything your children teach you, Jack.

    • TheJackB December 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

      @MimiMeredith Hi Mimi. I like that idea. Let’s charter that plane and leave all this nonsense behind. Opportunity must be knocking on various fronts, we just need to figure out which door to open and or walk through.

      Here is to a great 2012.

  7. bdorman264 December 22, 2011 at 6:47 am

    And I will stay on the first floor if there is any defenestrating going on.

    2011 was ok; I had a few ‘wow’ moments and one bummer moment business-wise toward the end of the year. It was close to being 3 bummer moments, but we rallied the troops and put a stop to that.

    2012 is already shaping up to be much better so I just need to stay on task and make it happen.

    I think I know at least 7 or 8 people who have taken their own life. Two of them were friends and one was a brother-in-law. Words really can’t describe it; tragic, sad, melancholy. You just wish you knew the depth of the pain and could have done something about it.

    Sometimes life can be a bitch and all we can do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Life certainly is going to go on whether we are ready or not, and sometimes that is what hurts.

    Enough of that; let’s kick butt in 2012 and laugh in the face of 2011.

    • TheJackB December 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

      @bdorman264 Hi Bill. I don’t remember if I shared this story with you but I have been thrown out of the first floor window. The good news is that you don’t fall very far, the bad news is that gravity pulls just as hard.

      It happened in college. I was at the fraternity house and someone suggested that we engage in some wrestling. There were about 40 or so us doing it.

      It was a hell of a lot of fun. I came in third because the two other guys worked together to send me flying, but I had already sent a few myself. I sometimes miss those wacky moments of pointless, but fun behavior.

      I haven’t any concern that things will turn around. There is a lot of craziness in the world right now but these things don’t last forever. It is just a question of perseverance and a willingness to keep fighting.

      I look forward to laughing with you at 2011.

      • bdorman264 December 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

        @TheJackB We’re you an AEPi or did you go w/ one of the others? There was a pretty good AEPi chapter at Florida State, but I had 4 Jewish brothers with me in Delta Tau Delta. 3 of them are Facebook buddies……Isgar, Hirsch & Aaronson.

        We had some wacky moments of pointless but fun behavior too.

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