(my apologies if this post is a bit “back and forth”. It was stream of consciousness writing, in an attempt to come to terms with my feelings this morning.)
My morning started innocuously enough. I re-emerged from sleep cuddled up to my dog, as happens most mornings. I staggered out to the kitchen and got my first cup of coffee. Halfway through my second cuppa, my husband and I had a conversation about the merits of installing solar panels on the roof.
As he went off to work, I wandered into my home office and turned on the laptop…and was faced with the death of Anthony Bourdain. Hot on the heels of Kate Spade’s decision to end her life, it was a one-two blow.
I will freely admit that Bourdain’s death hit me harder; I’m not generally one to follow fashion. However, I know there are many out there who are still reeling from the news of her passing, more so than his.
I am shocked and saddened, but also a little surprised. After all, I never actually met him. The closest I ever got to him was seeing someone who looked suspiciously like him standing outside a crappy Stowe VT hotel once.
But I absolutely adored No Reservations. Even though I was vegetarian at the time it aired—and he reveled in picking on herbivores—I got a kick out of his willingness to experience life as the locals do. I always got the impression that whatever else he was saying and doing he had a deep respect for the human-ness of a culture. His television shows presented a world I’ll likely never be able to visit with humor, compassion, and respect. And amazing food.
I think many times we become shocked and saddened by the death of a celebrity because we are shown their best selves. They show us possibilities. Their art speaks to us in ways we don’t always understand, but lets us know we aren’t alone. The news of their choice in passing reminds us that they are human and they hurt too, every bit as much as we. That reminder can leave us raw and confused.
There is so much pain in each of us, and so many struggle with it. Sometimes medications work, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the self-medication (drugs, alcohol) works… for a while. Sometimes there is simply nothing anyone can do.
Sometimes there is.
If you are struggling, if you are hurting, please know that there are people out there who love and care, and want to help. Sometimes the help is awkward, floundering and misguided. Sometimes the right person at the right time says the right thing.
The space you take up in this reality is cherished.
If you need to talk to someone, please do. If you have someone local, reach out. If you’d rather talk to someone, anyone, but aren’t sure who, the International Suicide Prevention page can help you.