Anthony Bourdain, gifted chef, storyteller, and writer has died at 61. CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.
Anthony Bourdain took viewers around the world to explore culture, cuisine, and human experience for almost two decades. Bourdain mastered his crafts – both in the kitchen and in on screen. He helped people think differently about travel, food, and culture. He inspired people to explore and connect with the world around them. Anthony Bourdain was a true pioneer and influencer in every sense. He helped people see the world differently. In 2013 he was honored by the Peabody Award judges for “expanding our palates and horizons in equal measure.” Not only did he share with the world, he helped it. Bourdain was an activist for human progress. He advocated for the underprivileged and campaigned for safer working conditions. He was in France working on the 11th season of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” CNN when he committed suicide.
Anthony Bourdain was an inspiration to us all in recovery. He was in recovery from heroin addiction. After overcoming his addiction, he learned to use his innate drive to become one of the greatest stars the culinary world has ever seen. His ability to communicate with people, use his intelligence, and his work ethic made him stand out. He was open about finding recovery through healthy living, redirecting his passions, and living an amazing life that involved helping others. It seemed he knew how to stay healthy.
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions, we tend to get some really astonishing answers.” – Anthony Bourdain.
At this time it is unknown if relapse was part of the saddening event. One can only speculate as to causes at this time. What we do know is that this is bringing the topic of suicide and mental health to a national audience, where it needs to be.
This news is coming just days after famed fashion designer Kate Spade was found hanged in her Manhattan apartment. Suicide is an apparent and growing problem in the United States. Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over the course of almost two decades, according to The US centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide has become far too common, with most of them not being talked about nationally. The topic of mental health and suicide prevention resources available are topics that need to always be discussed. Is our society missing something? With the rates growing, what can be done differently. Does it have to do with growing disconnect and reliance on technology to connect? People need to be connected with others – it is in our nature. It is important to be comfortable talking about feelings. The irrational belief that we need to bottle our emotions needs to be abolished.
Anthony Bourdain has inspired everyone to be a better human being. Let’s use this devastating moment to carry on his legacy. Live for what he believed. Let us also use this moment as a reminder to speak about our feelings to others – and to listen if our friends need help.
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