I don't share much about my husband's friends or my relationship to them, because that is not the spirit of this blog. But this week it feels appropriate, to honor someone who was so special to us, someone who was a member of our extended family.
Even the most casual viewer of the jackass series or movies can see that the nine main cast members share something deeper than injury appreciation. These guys are not acting, they are incapable of faking the comaraderie that they portray amidst their infamous stunts. On the screen and off, they cheer the others victories and worry in times of trouble. They are a brotherhood.
Like in any family, there have been strains and quarrels, lovefests and happiness. As a group, they have been working hard and playing hard together for over a decade. This is where the family extends beyond what you see on the screen. There is a core group of people that have produced these shows and movies together and the jackass family has grown from just a few guys with a video camera to include loyal crew members, significant others, and millions of fans.
Over the past eleven years, they have weathered injuries, divorces, surgeries, and intervention. But not until this week has there been such a loss. The sudden passing of Ryan Dunn has overwhelmed our family.
There are so many things to say about him, but I'll stick to speaking only for myself. Ryan was always one of my favorites. He treated me exactly the same - with a hug, a smile, an inside joke - when I was a newbie production assistant as when I was the director's wife. I saw this time and again, his lack of pretentiousness. Chatting in the car or one-liners for the camera, his sense of humor is easily the wittiest and in our household he is the most quoted. When everyone is sitting around waiting on the next take, waiting on lunch, Ryan is who you most want to plop down next to.
Ryan was relaxed and unaffected even when there was drama and chaos surrounding him. He was, by far, in the most stable of relationships for the duration of the decade and in Ireland on the press trip we had a long talk about love and what it means. His perspective on his longtime girlfriend always impressed me and he never wavered in his admiration and awe of her.
All week Jeff and I have talked about how particularly great Ryan was during this last movie. He seemed as content as we've ever known him. We've been sharing our favorite memories and telling stories, and while that's healing in a way, the unspoken hangs in the air while we're quiet. It's inconceivable that as a family we'll never again be whole.
To understand the title of this post, you can read my husband's emotional (and gross) tribute to Ryan by clicking here.