“Have you ever thought about killing yourself?”
I let the question linger in the air for a moment and nodded my head.
“So why didn’t you?”
If I told you the reason whyÂ was because I didn’t want to hurt family or friends it would be true and ifÂ I told you it was because I am too damn stubborn to give up it would be true.
It would be true if I said I didn’t want to find out that I was one minute away from moving from the depths of my hell into my own paradise.
Why Would You Think About It?
If you know me well you know I am curious about a million different things.
You would know the reason I want to live to be a thousand is because I want to know what it would be like to be a doctor, lawyer, scientist, astronaut, writer, teacher and more.
Can’t do it all in a short lifetime so I have to pick and choose carefully.
When I see signs that say “don’t press/touch/do” I want to do whatever I am told not to do just to see what happens.
Suicide is supposed to be a sin, but how do we really know? How do we know if there is a heaven or a hell without dying?
The explorer and curious man inside says you can’t figure it out unless you do it but the very rational part says you don’t cross the streams unless you are fully prepared to deal with the consequences.
What if you die and you can’t come back?
What if you die and you find out that you are going to spend eternity being punished?
I push the envelope in many areas and am willing to deal with the consequences of my actions but there is nothing that makes me angrier than getting pinched for doing something really stupid.
But the voice inside says what happens if there is nothing after this. End it and you won’t have to do your homework, pay your taxes or deal with feeling like crap.
Except that doesn’t negate the unwillingness to hurt others that way or the fear that I am so close to grabbing that brass ring.
Tried to dunk the ball 198 times and didn’t succeed until 199. If we gave up at 198 we would never know the joy that came with 199 and the idea of missing that irks me.
Not to mention not being around to see the kids grow.
Writers Plumb The Depths
Flip through the pages and posts here and you’ll see one of my major goals in in life is to become a better writer.
I want to be the guy who can make anything interesting and who knows how to tell a tale that captivates you. I want to write for the cycle, to prepare something funny and insightful as well as to put something out that leaves you breathless.
The kind of work that makes you sit back in your seat and wonder what just hit you.
I don’t think it comes without risk and without a willingness to delve into authenticity in a way that scares us.
One day my kids may read these words but I hope they recognize the deeper conversation here.
It is an admission that there have been moments where dear old dad felt like life had kicked his ass. An admission that the tough guy who didn’t lose a fight wondered if maybe he had.
An admission that sometimes parents feel like their losers who can’t get it right and wonder why everyone else seems to have figured it out when they haven’t.
But it is also clear that dad recognizes that when life punches you in the mouth you wipe your lip and smile because every time you get back up you get one step closer to winning that particular battle.
It is recognizing that life is cyclical and that down is followed by up and if you don’t stick around you don’t get to benefit from the joy that comes from surviving the crap that was just flung at you.
There is no reward without risk and no light without darkness.
Sometimes I hate those platitudes because they are so easily said. Sometimes I hate hearing them from people who seemingly have faced no adversity but I do my best not to compare.
Maybe everyone is fighting a battle and maybe they aren’t, it doesn’t necessarily make my battle harder or easier.
Went looking for theÂ rightÂ picture or quote to insert her and came across the picture of that big lug above. It has been years since I had to write about The Final Goodbye but when I came across it I had to read it again.
That picture doesn’t do a proper job of showing you how massive his head was and doesn’t come to close to showing a heart that was 1000 times larger than any you can imagine.
But when I see his face I remember.
And I remember running and wrestling with him…joy incarnate.
It reminds me that I have experienced that sort of joy more than a few times since he left us and that there is no doubt I will again.
Those moments outweigh and outnumber the hard ones.
When I watch the kids play with our dog now I see they get it and I know they understand the attachment I had with the big lug and the one that we have developed with the little guy we have now.
Camus was right.