"Suck It, Suicide" event brings comedy to coping
A comedy showcase in Hamtramck Saturday night will have a somewhat jarring theme: suicide.
Proceeds from the event go to Six Feet Over, a non-profit helping people who have lost loved ones to suicide.
Katie Hardy is the founder of that group. She says the comedy showcase is about offering people a different kind of coping mechanism.
“I personally deal with things with humor,” Hardy says. “I make horrible jokes that make me feel better. And that works for a lot of people. Not everybody is a 'sit down and be serious and this is how I cope' kind of person."
She says Six Feet Over's goal is to help families who have lost someone to suicide by picking up funeral costs and helping with clean up and memorial services.
“We also make sure that those families know what resources are available to them and understand that there’s a community out there for them,” Hardy says.
Providing families that community to fall back on in hard times is important to Hardy. She’s been there herself. She lost her mom and seven friends to suicide.
"Serious situations or serious conversations make me feel really uneasy and I feel more comfortable when other people around me are laughing and smiling and it's helpful for me in my grieving." - Katie Hardy
When Hardy lost her mom, she was 20 years old, and didn't have a community that understood what she was experiencing.
"So it’s really important for me to be able to pass that on to other families," she says.
"Suck it, Suicide" will feature comedians Ray Hollifield and Laura Witkowski. The duo performs a comedy show monthly at Small’s in Hamtramck. Each year, they dedicate one of those shows to Six Feet Over.
Hollifield's life, too, has been affected by suicide. He lost his little brother in 2010. He says his coping mechanism is also to turn to humor.
“I don’t necessarily make the subject of suicide funny, but we can make a lot of other things funny and maybe somebody will say something that’ll help someone through that that night,” Hollifield says.
The showcase will be at Small’s bar in Hamtramck on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m.