Anthony Bourdain: My Realizations After the Loss of This Culinary Rock Star to Suicide by Donna John

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4 years ago
Anthony Bourdain: My Realizations After the Loss of This Culinary Rock Star to Suicide

“Anthony Bourdain is my next husband … he just doesn’t know it yet.” That was my line. After reading all of his books, setting the DVR to record “No Reservations,” “The Layover” and “Parts Unknown,” attempting to make his recipes, reading his blog and basically having a crush for years, my heart hurt when the news of his death started making its rounds. Sadness crept in. A funk descended on my day. It was hard to accept and take in. But then a realization came to me:

I do not know him.

His blood does not flow through my veins; we do not share stories at the family reunion; it wasn’t me sitting beside him as he slurped pho on a boat in Vietnam; he didn’t answer my phone call at midnight with an edit for his new book; we didn’t toast our high school graduation together; he never canceled plans with me because he was feeling down. How must the family, friends and acquaintances of Anthony – or anyone who has left this world because of suicide – feel? The ones who really did know him.

So while my heart breaks that this creative, charming, tell-it-like-it-is culinary rock star decided leaving this world was the answer, my heart is now breaking for those who were weaved into his life, especially his daughter. Scientists believe that around  40 percent of depression has a hereditary link, and environmental and other factors make up the other 60 percent. Reaching out to those who have lost anyone they cared about to suicide is imperative – the stats above and commonsense back that up.

Reach. Out.

We must start paying more attention to each other. We must reach out even if we suspect someone is feeling hopeless or depressed. We must stop connecting through Facebook posts and texts and look someone in the eyes or hear their voices over the phone. We must.

My phone blew up this morning with people concerned about me after hearing about Bourdain. Let’s hope people who have been personally touched by suicide or who are suffering from depression or feeling hopeless lives are blowing up with support, care and concern from those in their life. The time of closing our eyes to mental illness and its effects on individuals, families … society … is over. It will take the whole tribe.

Photo: Anthony Bourdain Twitter

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
"Reaching out to those who have lost anyone they cared about to suicide is imperative – the stats above and commonsense back that up." This is such a powerful post, Donna John . Thank you for sharing your feelings about this amazing man, gone too soon. I'm so sorry. We have to reach out and connect, it does take the tribe. Godspeed, Anthony. You are missed. xoxo
Jessica Acree
It's so true... it takes a lot to truly KNOW someone deeply as we all flit around in this busy world, perhaps that's a good place to start. Reach out. Talk. Make time. LET THEM KNOW. So sorry you lost your #1 crush girl, now he knows <3 Hoping Anthony and so many others gone too soon are no longer suffering with feelings deeper than they knew how to handle.

Ash Benton
This is Powerful. Thank you for sharing this post. I am so sorry for his family, friends, you, and all of the lives he impacted such as mine... I am so sadden by this. 😞👍🏾💚💚💚
Marge Carter
just the other day I was talking to my grandchildren who are 8 and 10 and mentioned to them if they see any of their friends look like they lost something or they seem to keep to themselves is to tell the teacher or parent who ever is around. And if they know the friend personally go ask if everything is ok. I gave them an example and I believe they understood.

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