Anthony Bourdain: My Realizations After the Loss of This Culinary Rock Star to Suicide by Donna John
“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.
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.
Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) June 8, 2018
The suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this week are a reminder: No matter how successful, wealthy or seemingly happy you are, we all battle our own demons.
Reach out to one another. Destigmatize depression, addiction and anxiety.
We are all in this together.
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 8, 2018
Rest in peace Anthony Bourdain.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you don't want to talk, text START to 741741.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) June 8, 2018
Photo: Anthony Bourdain Twitter