Creative. Innovative. Good looking. Rich. Successful.
And died by suicide.
He had so much money. So much fame. He wanted for nothing.
But a brain that suffers from depression doesn’t care about fame or money.
I rarely watched the show but I’m watching it now. And I’ve noticed he is emotionally naked and shows us parts unknown through the lens of food. It was a conduit.
He saw food as emotional.
He was passionate, empathetic, authentic and vulnerable. He called himself a lucky cook who tells stories.
He suffered from addiction to heroin back in the eighties. From what I’ve seen, it was his depression that drove his heroin use. Just like my son, Charles.
Those who suffer both are six times more likely to die by suicide. I didn’t find out that fact until after I lost my own son.
Anthony Bourdain’s mother was shocked he killed himself. Just like we were when Charles died by suicide. It doesn’t matter at what age your child dies. It hurts like hell. We’re never prepared for that kind of end. We can’t believe anyone would ever kill themselves.
I was glad his mom spoke out because to me it meant she was not ashamed. Maybe that’s a stretch.
He leaves an 11 year old daughter. And she needs empathy and support as do all his family, his friends and his fans.
12 thoughts on “On Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide”
Your son, my son and Bourdain were brilliantly insightful people. None of them told anybody, as far as we know, that they wanted to die so badly and are about to do it. When someone like that wants to do it there’s obviously not a goddamn thing we can do about it. It was their little secret. Doesn’t make me feel any better but what else can you say. I’m sure many can be helped so don’t get me wrong there.
I am watching his show now. There are clues. He says things in almost every show.
I do think our boys wanted help. But depression didn’t allow them to understand they were important. It’s the nature of depression that makes it hard for people to reach out. Or just that moment. Of all the things Charles would admit, depression was not one of them. He was so ashamed that funny boy was depressed. Their brains told them and Anthony that the world was better without them. I know Charles was trying to call for help. He just had no practice telling a secret he guarded so close to his heart.
Our culture does not allow men an avenue to express real feelings. I love that you are open David. We need more men, more Dads, making comments and speaking out like you do. It was out of our control.
Yep. You’re very last sentence was my point.
It took me a while to get there.
Wow. If they’d just
have had their own little imaginary friend Jesus.
We all wish we were born so simple minded.
Yup. That’s all Charles needed. They force fed religion to him at a therapeutic boarding school. Clearly it was not effective.
I read your post and wondered if indeed Charles and Anthony and so many other beautiful souls actually thought that the “world would be better without them.”
I wonder from the experience of hell. I have been existing in it for over a year, and every second my brain along with every other fiber of my being scream: It hurts too much to live in the world, which you feel and love so much, so passionately, in pain. Excruciating and debilitating pain. My experience was traumatic, it left physical damage, it destroyed my life, a life of a young, vibrant woman. I see the beauty and joy around me and it slashes through me, because in this state of hell, I feel completely removed from it. As Anthony, I come from the restaurant world, I have tasted its colorful richness, I have known the raw and pure joy from the smallest and truest of things. I have felt a deep connection with this amazing life force. It is existing completely cut off from that feeling, which is dehumanizing. I feel like a caged animal. I guess I just wanted to express that a sensitive soul, like your son Charles, and Anthony, and so many others, they may just have loved this world too much to stay in it in such pain.
Mia- This is so beautiful. What you’ve written here. You are clearly very creatively talented. Thank you for taking the time to explain and help me and others to understand suicidal ideation. Especially in my grief over the loss of my son. A loss That will always hurt and one I have put everything into trying to better understand.
What, may I ask, changed that threw you into a world of such despair? Can you pinpoint what, in the past year has changed? An event or injury? And let me know if there is something I can do for you. Or our little tribe here.
We can never be prepared for that kind of end I believe. I lost my younger brother to suicide in september of 2014. While it had crossed my mind that something like that might happen, I dismissed it. Never considered that this would actually become a reality. It was devastating, as loss like this always will be. Being prepared for that is impossible.
My heart aches for that little girl and all who are affected by this loss in any way. It is my hope that this will once again open up conversation about depression and go some way toward ending the stigma making it easier to those still suffering to open up.
Thank you for being part of that conversation.
I so agree with this: “While it had crossed my mind that something like that might happen, I dismissed it. Never considered that this would actually become a reality.”
We simply fathom how someone would follow the steps to end their life. That they’d be so desperate, that their brain would be so convincing. When I lost my son to suicide, it really never crossed my mind. And I have to forgive my naiveté. It simply was not on my radar.
I’m sorry you lost a brother this way. It effects you your whole life when it’s a member of your family.
Thanks for your comment Yvon and I like your blog. 🙂
We are big fans of his and admired his openness about his addiction. He will be missed.
I watched a lot of him the past couple days. That’s what I saw, too.