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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018

    All The King's Horses And All The King's Men

    It’s unnerving being a parent. You go through life beforehand loosely thinking about where you are headed, and what you are doing, and then, in an instant, that all changes with parenthood. You hold your child for the first time and a whole new world starts to unfold in front of you. You go from a you-centric state of being- to thinking, worrying, obsessing over your kids. In moments it hits you that the fabric of life is so deeply woven, that little moments in parenting can be like a soft word on a mountaintop- catching the wind and reverberating off the landscape around it, magnified, suddenly the words boom through the valleys below. Little things, little moments can echo through an eternity thanks to the audience- your children, and the world they will inevitably affect around them.

    You begin to realize how your actions carry so much more weight than they ever used to. The weight to shape another human life. The weight to shape the world around that life. You start to think about your biases- the things you love and hate, the activities you do or don’t enjoy, how you react to the world around you, and the people you love and hate. You question it all. You come to realize these biases could alter another human’s entire existence- and when that human fits in your hand, completely innocent, completely dependant on you in order to survive- it can really start to fuck with your brain.

    The best of us would second guess ourselves almost constantly after those moments of realization. Should I say this? Should I do that? How should I act in this moment, how will it affect my child either directly, or even, indirectly? How will my actions affect the world around me? If there is a height of individualism, and a height of collectivism, the extremes occur at around 19 years old for individualism, and the moment you become a parent for collectivism. As a parent, it makes you look back longingly sometimes at 19, and yet, at the same time, you realize how much of a damned fool you were back then- you thought you were so free, so independant, even infallible, but you were merely oblivious to the world around you. And as a parent, in times when you are running on practically no sleep, stressed out of your damned mind, utterly exhausted right down to your very core, you think about how that level of ignorance would be so blissful to revisit in the moment, but parenthood is something you can’t come back from, or turn off- because for the rest of your life, you are tasked with preparing and protecting another human being, for and from, the big bad world around you. You no longer have the luxury of ignorance.

    And yet as parents we are still just human. We are still experiencing this world firsthand, still learning ourselves. Mistakes happen. I dread something terrible happening to my children, or them winding up down a wrong path, making bad decisions, or much worse. The kinds of things you can’t go back from. To act as if we have all the answers, when we don’t- not knowing if you’re doing the right things is being a parent in a nutshell. Fear of the unknown. Fear of thinking something is a good choice, but having it prove to be bad down the road.

    Jerry Lawler refused to pay Brian Christopher’s forty thousand dollar bail. As a parent, he was at a place with his child where he felt this was the kind of tough love Brian needed in order to start the road to recovery. And days later, Brian hung himself in his prison cell- an action that ultimately resulted in him dying in a hospital, with Jerry sobbing hysterically by his side.

    Brian was 46. He had been in trouble with the law pretty much consistently since his days as Grandmaster Sexay. Lately, he had fallen off the rails, getting arrested more and more frequently, leading up to his most recent DUI. Up to that arrest, Jerry had bailed his son out multiple times, and it certainly didn’t seem to help matters. From the outside looking in, you can see why Jerry might have that mind set. He no longer wanted short term solutions that enabled the self destructive path his son was on, he wanted his son to start to actually heal.

    Best intentions. In parenting, sometimes, it’s not enough. We see that tragically, here. And Jerry has to live with that the rest of his life.

    To think about all of the dangers on the road to get to 46 years old, all of the obstacles faced, all of the lessons taught, or imbued upon your child. The expression “A parents work is never done”, is so painfully fitting here. It begins with them eating on their own, sleeping through the night, crawling, walking, talking. Each milestone in a child’s life is ripe with danger, and a parent’s worries and fears.

    As a parent of young children, I’m terrified of the path Brian Christopher went down. I’ve seen the world chew up and spit out people my age, and people older that I thought had it together more than I did. Life is hard. And as if alcohol isn’t bad enough, heroin and opioids are so prevalent now, that there is an added level of anxiety circling a parents mind, and it travels above and beyond the formative years.

    Adults are dropping like flies to substance abuse. You spend years as a parent worrying about so many things, right down to your kids interactions with strangers. You’d think there would be a point that the worrying stops. And yet Jerry lost his son after 46 years. To suicide.

    And yet some people have the nerve to question his choices as a parent. As if those people lived with the Lawlers through all the ups and downs, all the years leading up to Jerry deciding his son needed to not be bailed out for his reckless behavior once again. As if they knew Brian better than his own dad- the guy that had been there from the fateful day he first held him in his arms.

    Suicide is hard enough. As a parent, you must question everything. Was it my fault they wound up doing that? People can point to the wrestler lifestyle making for a lot of families with vacant dads, but is that truly fair? Maybe in terms of averages, but maybe the accountant down the street is less involved with their kids. From the outside looking in, it is hard to know.

    Imagine sitting, thinking how 46 years of molding that baby you held in your arms, 46 years of anxiety, worry, and sleeplessness, 46 years of pure love led you to a day where you had to bury your child and live life without them. And then questioning everything you ever did, or didn’t do- everything you said or didn’t say- like feverishly attempting to piece an imaginary puzzle together, though the puzzle is your heart, broken up in a million bloody little pieces. As you sit frantic, numb, and broken, trying to put yourself back together.

    How could you have changed it, so that your child would still be there? So you could hear them say, “Dad” to you one more time. To play with them, to read them bedtime stories, to kiss, or say they loved you one more time. So you could hug them one more time?

    I watch my 2 year old idolize me. Rub his head up against me affectionately and say, “da-da”. Tell me he loves me. Asks me questions and listens so intently- watches so intently, learning from me. A lot of little boys idolize their dads. We can guess confidently that Brian idolized his, considering his career path. At one point Brian was that little boy, and from the outside looking in, my heart breaks for Jerry as I wonder what leads that boy down that path. Because if I ever lost either of my boys, I’m pretty sure I’d crawl into bed, and never leave again until I died from a severely broken heart.

    Jerry fights it now. He is convinced Brian was killed. In denial that his baby could do that to himself. Jerry refuses to believe Brian could do that, because if he did, it makes the rest of his life so much more heartbreakingly difficult to cope with. Trying to make sense of madness, as it drags him down into an abyss of self loathing and depression that cripples every movement and thought he could have. Stalking him. Shadowing him. Haunting him.

    How do you come to grips with knowing the world got the best of your kid? I’ve empathically imagined it, painfully since I heard of Brian’s death, and as a dad of two beautiful little boys, my heart breaks for Jerry so deeply. I wouldn’t wish that fate on my most hated enemy. To not only lose your baby, but to have to question if it was your fault. And realizing your baby was suffering, mentally, on such a dark, deep level, for one reason or another. In so much pain that they thought ending their life was the answer. As selfish as it is, knowing what it does to those you left behind, your once innocent, sweet, little boy going through that. Then thinking back on those days all those years ago when he was so free spirited, happy, and loving. To know you’d never get to share a moment with that boy again…

    Some things are worth more than wrestling- more than work. Some things are worth more than hobbies, possessions, or a social life. Some things are so much more valuable than we give them credit for until it’s too late. And time isn’t infinite for us.

    Hug and kiss your kids for Jerry. Whether you have kids, or will someday. Show them unconditional love. Don’t be afraid to show them love, or express it, and to be their greatest fan. Hold them tight, accept them, pay attention to them, and don’t let go. Make sure you spend the rest of your life, every day, making it known to them how much they mean to you. No matter where they go, or what they do. I will. I already was, but situations like this make it so hauntingly clear.

    Because nobody wants the fate Jerry Lawler is living in right now. Nobody wants to sit on a throne of regret and sorrow as its king. And that is a crown that Jerry will unfortunately wear for the rest of his tortured, fractured life. All the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn’t put Jerry together again.

    Hoping, at the least, that Brian found the peace he was looking for…

    So long and goodnight, Brian Christopher.
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 08-02-2018 at 05:28 PM.

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Nice tribute. This isn't something I can truly relate to as I never wanted kids and succeeded in that desire. At 43, it's only in the past couple of years that my parents have stopped telling me I'll change my mind one day - I guess despite saying it since I was about 15, either they finally got the message or they just realised I'd probably reached the point where I was too old anyway? Probably the latter.

    Despite not being able to relate to this situation, I can say this: Nobody should ever have to bury their own kids. I hope nobody here ever has to.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    As someone with kids, I loved this! My kids are everything and I want them to know 100% who their father is. They are more important to me than anything in life. Everyday I make sure to hug my 2 year old and my 17 month old. I come home at midnight from work and I watch them sleeping peacefully and thank God all the time. I'm also fortunate enough to be a step father to two kids as well, kids who's birth fathers are terrible human beings and that they never have (or will) meet.

    My heart breaks for Jerry Lawler and the "coulda woulda shoulda's" he probably has racing through his mind. Luckly I'm wired by my creator to not take a second for granted. Thanks for writing!

  4. #4
    I think this is the best-written thing by you I've seen in some time. Powerful stuff, man.

  5. #5
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Kleck, know that I read this and I like the way you think. I can't address it right now, because it's too sad. I wrote some comments, then deleted, because I can't find any way to make this a narrative that I can find even seemingly OK. I remember Christopher from when I was a child. Woulda never, ever guessed this for him or JL.

  6. #6
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    A deep response to a heartbreaking incident. It's really beyond words but you've done a great job here. I've long heard of Brian Lawler's personal issues but you always hope that it will be a Scott Hall/Jake Roberts situation. When it turns into this, the grief is intense, and surely a million times moreso for a parent.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    I want you to write all the tribute columns. I understand how emotionally exhausting that might be, but I'm confident in your abilities and your resolve to do it.
    Good to read you again, Kleck.
    Check out all the Cool Points columns here.
    LOP's resident nXt guy
    CF since 2013

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Thanks all! I had to walk away from this column for a bit before responding. As Mystic and others mentioned, it is heavy. And I can admit the day I wrote it I was teary most of the day thinking about it. When I found out about Jerry not bailing Brian out, this song popped up on youtube randomly about 2 songs later, and well, that sucked me into this pretty deep. Music has a value to me I could never quantify or describe. It can be like a conduit for empathy. Pair that with having two kids and I think my heart will hurt for Jerry everytime I see him from here on out. And, as unexpected and profound as life can be, a daughter in the world of wrestling lost her dad today. Rest in peace Jim "The Anvil".

    JCool! I wanted to thank you for this, and the feedback on my last column. I didnt have a chance to respond, and wanted to thank you for reading! I will do another tribute now, probably posted tomorrow. I will say though some of these put me too deep emotionally, so doing all of them would be rough, lol. But your vote of confidence means a hell of a lot to me, coming from such a wonderful human being. Thanks pal!

    Miz- honestly I'm glad a lot of people aren't parents through this tragedy, as it cuts so much deeper to think about. Ive always liked Jerry, he seems like one of the decent people in the business, which makes this a nightmare even to see from the oustide. Nobody deserves this. Thanks as always Miz! You rock my Casbah.

    Mystic- As I mentioned above, this hurt me to write too, so I've got a good idea of how you feel. We grew up watching these guys. They inhabited our houses a couple days a week like family. So stuff like this can be absolutely gutwrenching. It's gonna take me a bit to stop bleeding for Jerry. I'd like to contact him just to show him support but I'm sure he is overwhelmed atm. Thanks!

    Skul- That is something that means a lot to me. Tbh, when I wrote the first paragraph, the imagery about lessons taught to children echoing through valleys made me think of you. You have a poetic way with words that to this day I aspire to. Thanks

    Type- I also thank God every time my kids go to sleep LOL. Joking aside, you nailed how I feel. Moments like this are almost a blessing for us parents on the outside of the tragedy, as it gives us that little bit more perspective and appreciation for what we have. They say Jerry is good at not questioning life like yourself, and I hope he can find comfort asap. I honestly want to hug the guy and tell him how sorry I am, and how he was a great dad. And to never let this put that doubt in there. But that is easier said than felt. Thanks man!

    Dynamite- I can say this, you made a very adult decision to not have kids. A lot of people with kids dont want the responsibility, and you shouldnt ever feel forced to make such a major life decision by societial pressure, or friend/family pressure. That is a lifelong responsibility, and it affects the children in those situations the most. I am slightly jealous of your sleep schedule as well, lol. Sorry, I just read an article today saying based on how old my kids are, my gf and I have lost roughly 10 months worth of sleep since they were born.... yikes! Anyway thanks man! Always appreciated!

    Thanks all! I'm sorry if I hit you in the feels, and I'm sorry that I will undoubtedly do it again in the next day or two...

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