No, making jokes about suicide is not funny

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You need a sense of humor.


I think I have a pretty good sense of humor, thank you very much. But I just didn't think this was funny.
Being known as the go-to suicide girl at work, taking on all the stories about suicide, I figured this was something I needed to address.

Now, let me first explain the back story to this. Republican Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, in an interview in Mackinac Island last week, said to his counterpart, Democrat Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, "Go in the garage, pull the door down, leave the engine running," while Ficano was sitting right next to him.

Patterson said this in response to being asked what advice he would give Ficano, who is currently in the midst of a federal investigation of his office which has brought criminal charges against four of his former employees and a vendor.

I really do believe that this was a joke on Patterson's part and that he didn't mean his counterpart should literally kill himself. That didn't mean I thought it was funny either, which I could tell a lot of other people did due to their "LOL" comments when they heard about it.

Sure, I understand that some people may complain we live in a too politically correct world today -- a world where people always have to think before they speak in case someone is offended by what they say. But, being on the radio for anyone to hear -- yeah,  you should think a little bit before you speak. I don't think living in a world where you try not to offend people is such a bad world to live in.

I think we used to take things too lightly. I have since completely dropped from my vocabulary the phrases, "That's so gay," and "That's retarded," when talking about something that's stupid. These are phrases that I used to hear all the time. Now I hear it very rarely.

Those are people you are talking about, and being more consciously aware of not offending them, I don't think is a bad thing.

Something more relevant that I also don't do is joking about suicide. I feel like this is something people used to do a lot and no longer do as often. You know what I'm talking about. The joke when you're so bored and in such a bad mood that you make your fingers into a fake gun and pretend to shoot yourself in the head with it.

I'm not perfect. I used to do this too without thinking about it. I don't do it anymore. Because making fun of people -- whether they're homosexuals, disabled or, to me most importantly, thinking of taking their own life -- just isn't funny.

Personally I have been in that boat. And, if at my lowest point in my life, I heard about a person in power making a joke about the very act I was contemplating, I would think, "Wow, what I'm thinking about doing is a joke to some people."

I have heard that almost everyone, at one point in their lives, has at least thought about suicide. That's a huge statistic. That's why I think it's wrong to make jokes about it -- because you have no way of knowing if the person you are talking to at the time, the person who hears you making the joke, may be contemplating that. And maybe those words are that push, the straw that broke the camel's back, that makes them do it. For someone who is contemplating suicide, many times the one thought, "Wow, they wouldn't even care if I did it," is enough to send them over the edge.

I would just like to personally say to those people that no, suicide is not funny. And you should tell someone if you are contemplating it. Don't keep it to yourself, thinking people would just make fun of you. I know some people make it seem like they think it's funny, but most people, when someone they care about brings that to them, they will care. Your life is important. And thinking about you dying is NOT funny.

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8 comments

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  2. Thanks for this read. I recently got ambushed on a friends FB page when I took a stand. I have a wicked sense of humor, but not with this. There is nothing funny about this and it has no place, especially in humor.

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  3. As a person that has been suicidal I make dark jokes. There is actually nothing wrong with that. Have you ever been in a situation that was so dark you had to make fun of it to show how stupid it is?

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    1. i wasnt able to effectively battle my depression until i started making light of it - dark humor is therapeutic, and many in my position would agree. see how many of the comedy greats are depression-riddled, alcoholic nihilists - taking your pain and converting it into humor is an incredible tactic.

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