This might seem a little bare, but I’m still trying to process all of this at the moment. It may be rewritten in the future, it may not be.
The wonder that is Ryan Dunn has been in my life for ten years. Thanks to my older brother, I first saw Ryan in the Jackass television series. He would watch Jackass religiously on MTV when it was aired on a regular basis. It pretty much became a brother sister bonding ritual. Every night that it was on, we would sit together, laugh hysterically at these guys being in pain and sometimes try the stunts. The love I have for all of the Jackass guys comes from the fact that they did bring my brother and I closer together at one point. They hold a lot of memories for me.
Why Ryan in particular?
There was a certain atmosphere around him, a sense of positivity when he was on television. Whether it was on Jackass, Viva La Bam or Homewrecker, everything seemed a little brighter. Every one in the cast and crew was just that bit happier. Also, that laugh. What can I say about it really? It bordered on perfection, it was perfection. The way he would laugh so hard that he would fall over at times… happiness like that can‘t be found that often on Earth. People who can make others happy draw me in almost instantaneously.
There was also a certain draw to him because he wasn’t one of the main personalities. Everyone liked Johnny or Bam or Steve-O because they were more “out there”. Ryan was a little more understated, he preferred to be in the background when people were performing stunts. Curiosity led the way into my love of Ryan.
When Ryan died, I cried for hours on end. I’m even crying now. For me, Ryan represented, still does represent, my childhood happiness, the closeness that I had with my brother. My brother and I grew apart over time and I held on to Jackass to help me through it, to remind me that it wasn’t all bad.
Ryan was also a man who showed me how to come through certain things. The time that he was MIA for were, some say, dark times for him, but he came through the other side of it with a smile on his face and a light in his heart. He was an example that I could do the same.
Now Ryan’s gone… it feels like my childhood died with him. I will never get those nights with my brother back, the same as Ryan isn’t going to come back. When Ryan was alive, it felt as though I never had to grow up, I never had to let go of the good times. When Ryan died, the world lost a great asset, became a thousand times darker and a hundred percent less funnier.
Though I have the Jackass films sitting beside me and many videos of Ryan stored on my laptop, I miss him dearly. I will never see him past a certain film, past a certain production. I want to be able to celebrate the fact that Ryan was alive and graced the world with such beauty, but for now, I refuse to believe that he has gone.
Thank you for all that you have given us, Ryan, I shall never forget you.
Sending all my love to you.