This is my friend Jacob.
He was the first friend I made after my dad passed away in 2006. I burst into his dorm room and said “Can I throw water balloons out your window?”
And he said, “Can I help?”
Simple as that. We were pranksters and comedians and dreamers and best of friends. We wore masks around the dorms and knocked on doors to scare other students. We made silly videos and threw parties. Everything we did was to put a smile on other people’s faces.
That was Jake.
A carefree, selfless dude with a contagious enthusiasm. You couldn’t help but be happy when Jake was around.
Sometimes before I go onstage I have to psyche myself up and get in the right mindset to really give a good performance. But Jake was that guy all the time. He was always in a good mood. He’d had some hard knocks and some tough times, but through it all he kept smiling and kept moving forward.
Of all my friends, Jake was the one with the biggest dreams. At least, he was the one talking about them. He wanted to do more and see more and be more. He talked about it constantly.
He’d help me with video projects and set up backstage at my show. He was a groomsman at my wedding and made sure everything went off without a hitch. He had a magical way of cracking a joke or telling a story that would make you forget everything else that was bothering you in that moment.
That was Jake.
Fun, loving, caring, funny, outgoing, crazy, and friendly. Jake was all of those things and more.
I know it doesn’t really mean anything but our friendship on Facebook listed us as “Brothers”. He was always more than a friend to me. He was family.
In a time when a lot of people weren't supporting me or my wife, Jake did. He always put others first. Always.
He was one of a kind.
And he’s been on my mind this morning, because I just found out he died by suicide this week.
I haven’t been this sad in a really long time.
The last time I spoke to Jake was in January of this year. He sent me a text about a video I had made. He had made a brief appearance in it.
I said “We love you, man. So glad you were part of that story.”
And he replied “Thanks man! Love you guys!!! So glad to be a part of your guys’ life.”
I’m so glad he was a part of it, too.
Look, I’ve battled depression, too. I know a lot of my friends have. But suicide isn’t the answer.
So if you’re depressed, just know that I’m here for you. Your friends are here for you. Your family is here for you.
You can also go here: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Or here: https://www.betterhelp.com/
If you aren’t depressed, then hug your loved ones a little closer today. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Look up from your phone and actually listen to the people you’re with.
Life can change in an instant, so we should all strive to be a little more selfless and put others first - just like Jake would have.