Good Morning Faithful Reader – 11/13/2021 – Comedians and Suicide – Public Speaker Talk.
My name is Bob Cristello and my son Anthony killed himself on August 16, 2017 at the age of 35. I say this to qualify who I am as a parent, why I am here and to show my credentials in a club that no one wishes to be a member of.
Most of you know I am reborn and I do not mean in the religious context. I have, for ten weeks, engaged in a rebirthing process that allows me to speak publicly about this issue without the need for sharing the personal horrors of my past. Should you wish to investigate that, my process is on my website and my personal FB timeline for all the world to see. You can always just stop following if you are not interested in the topic of suicide.
<insert-non-professional-suicide-joke-here>I have justified myself by posting once each day rather than posting 500 selfies of my cat, though if that helps please continue doing so<end insert>
My talk this morning is about Comedians and Suicide. That joke was appropriate because I have a friend who owns a cat.
I watched a comedian perform the other night and I said something to him via the world wide web. I made a comment on a video and I honestly just didn’t think about it again. Now, late at night I get a message and he says, “Hey, did you post on my timeline?”. Now, amazingly enough I have no idea who this guy is and it turns out he is a pretty famous guy in his own right, and I will not say who he is. Anyone who knows me, knows that my celebrity friends enjoy a great anonymity with me in public.
Now, some people wonder why that is? Well, I had a bunch of comedians on my timeline anyway. Actually, I have movies stars, rock stars, soldiers, sailors, marines, air force, industrial leaders, entertainment industry influencers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, mechanics, drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, felons, homeless United States Combat Veterans, criminals and yes I know a lot of people who don’t even have time to get to social media.
So, how do I know these people? I went to high school with most of them and it was an amazing experience. So, why don’t I talk to one of my famous people to help me? Cause I went to high school with most of them. The Grammy award winner is just a guy who taught me how to iron my pants. The Ambassador to a foreign power is just a guy who took my girlfriend to the high school prom. I built the single-most rewarding lifetime friendship with my best friend that I took. That guy, mind you, that even at that age I knew that he was a much better man than I would ever be. Certainly a lot smarter. So, everything is relative. They know I have kept silent out of respect for something larger than I was, that I did not wish to bring harm to. I know all of them understand what I am trying to do, what they all had hoped I might do once in my life and maybe they are giving me a break because I actually have something to say.
It means that what I am saying is making a difference. Now, I already knew it was making a difference because my phone was ringing off the hook and my wife kept saying I was talking on the phone more in the last four weeks than in the whole ten years we were married. Now, that is because of my shame which I no longer carry though I fully carry the responsibility of why I felt ashamed in the first place. So, when this guy reached out he found that he was actually already friends with someone on my timeline and he was like, you know this person? Maybe, in that moment, he didn’t think I was just another crazy grieving parent, but maybe I was someone that he was thinking about when he made a commitment to discuss his views on suicide in public.
Now, to me this guy is a warrior. Anyone who wants to stand up in public, make fun of the way my kid died with the intent of bringing awareness to a global pandemic of our kids killing themselves, then I am all for it. In fact, do two more jokes please sir and I am grateful. I am grateful that you have taken the gifts you were born with to make people laugh, even when you are crying on the inside, and turn it into something of beauty then I stand behind you sir. You are no different than a musician, a painter, a poet or a warrior for truth. Your weapon, your gift just happens to be humor. Thank you for joining my timeline, I was not sure you would after our first discussion.
I know people know that there is nothing funny about suicide. We are all grown ups here. Man, it’s like we hit the 21st century and everyone is more worried about HOW we say the truth than what the truth is. Like, it’s ok for me to tell suicide jokes because my kid killed himself. Think about that on a global scale after you think about it personally.
Maybe, this guy will help me, maybe he won’t. Maybe he will throw me a bone and write me a joke I can use. I am just glad the guy is here. He is not the most famous person I know, but he is not the least known. He is trying, as best he can to do something for all of us in this place. We came here hopeless and without direction, no other program of recovery in the world will help us because there is nothing wrong with us. My kid climbed up on a chair, hung himself until he was lifeless and everyone just wants me to get over it. Not this guy, he is going to walk out on stage every night and do this bit. He doesn’t care if people give him a hard time, he has a message. Now, his message makes you laugh. But, a great comedian touches you with the truth. This guy, is really something special and so are you.
You have a message to give, a message of hope to others in this club. Make sure you turn to someone today and say hi. Send them a private message and say hi, welcome, I am sorry you are here. When people start calling you and you have to listen to their pain because you have no choice. It just drives you to listen and attempt to help by saying I see you, I love you and I understand. This is Coping with Suicide. Not living with suicide or handling suicide, this is COPING. It is an overt action that you must take and if you are not ready to take it, I am. Believe that I believe it.
I called three corporations yesterday. They said, “what do you want?”. So, I give them the whole qualify thing. My name is Bob, My son Anthony killed himself, I belong to a club, my brand is grief, my niche is suicide, my name is parent and I want you to give me your highest level dedicated server with five years and all amenities for free to support my cause. In doing so, you may have sole rights to advertise and show your global company supports parents who have lost a child to suicide at this point in time and also bring awareness of this devastating global pandemic of death to the public eye.
Now, that is probably pretty ballsy to most of you. But, I am Bob Cristello and none of my friends will ever accuse me of doing anything quietly, except to grieve the loss of my son and show respect to people I have hurt that I did not wish to hurt any longer.
I don’t know, maybe this blog will die in a few weeks. You can see I am curating other public blogs on this subject and I do so because there are not many of them. Those that exist, have a few posts and parents give up. Now, that is ok, for now, you can give up. You can take a breath, deal with your pain, come to our groups and just be loved. That is ok, it really is. But one day, after working this process, you will want to help others. When you do, you will lose your name. You will simply become parent, and all children will in a blazingly clear moment of what I can only call the blinding appearance of truth in a life of lies, all children will be your children.
If you don’t believe that, please believe that I believe it. I am taking action, you don’t have to. I will ask you to take action one day, but today is not that day. Other programs of recovery tell us, live one moment at a time, one day at a time. That is one of our things that we teach, but we don’t view it as a long term solution for us for we are not recovering from the death of our child. We are simply recovering from the shock of the death of our child. Let that sink in next time you think something is wrong with you, because there is nothing wrong with you.
Call someone and tell them you love them today. Reach out to another person and trust, that in time, more will be revealed if you just trust. Your child didn’t kill themselves, they just wanted to escape something. Now, that is a pretty strong statement but I have earned the right to say it. We can never answer the question why they killed themselves, but we can ask ourselves what part we played. I do believe you have to take action, look in the mirror and learn to love yourself before you can do anything else. I truly pray that you find your way through another day and that you come here again tomorrow.
My name is parent, thank you for letting me share.