I didn’t know you, Anthony Bourdain.

I didn’t know you, Anthony Bourdain.

But you made a difference to me.

Your book, Kitchen Confidential, made me laugh out loud. Its relentless and brutal honesty also gave me complete certainty that I made the right choice by not going into the business of food and letting cooking for others remain a beloved hobby.

Your curiosity and wanderlust were inspiring. The world is a big, wonderful and fabulously interesting place, and your intense hunger for knowledge and new experiences tantalized and nourished me, along with so many others.

The headlong-headstrong way you embraced – and even exalted – peasant and street food helped me to embrace and exalt some of the more humble food in my own family’s background.

I didn’t know you, Anthony Bourdain.

But I’ve struggled with your death.

I’ve been silent for a few days trying to process it.

My brother made the same choice you did, Anthony. He took his own life.

I’ve been silent – and not-silent – for almost five years trying to process it.

There’s an army of people out there just like me who are struggling with your death from a duality of emotions.

There’s the sense of loss from the abrupt ending of your huge contribution to the canons of travel, food and cultural understanding, and a reluctant but absolutely unavoidable comparison to our own unwelcome experiences with the savage, raw, rollercoaster aftermath of suicide.

We mourn you with already-broken hearts, Anthony. There’s a seat at the table that shouldn’t be empty yet.

We cringe and weep for your loved ones, who will struggle for years to understand.

We wish it was different. We know it will never be the same.

I didn’t know you, Anthony Bourdain.

I wish I had.

You made a difference to me. To many.

Today I join the chorus of voices, each mourning your death and celebrating your life in their own way.

Your egalitarian outlook, voracious appetite and adventurous spirit made the world’s menu so much bigger for so many.

Thank you for that, Anthony. I hope you’ve found peace. I hope my brother has found peace. I pray that your family and loved ones will someday find peace and acceptance.

It takes a long, long time.


And for anyone else out there who has read this far and struggles with depression and hopelessness like Anthony, my brother, and so many others, below is a repeat of a ragged little poem I wrote, a plea for you to reach out. The original post is here: My Brother’s Suicide: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light.

 

A Suicide Prevention Poem: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

please hear my plea

if you are out there somewhere

in the dark

considering taking control of your life

by taking your life

please tell someone

just one person

let one person know

that you are at risk

in the dark

and sad

and feeling alone and desperate and unloved

please hear my plea

know that the people who have always loved you

still do

always will

know that your current situation

in the dark

doesn’t have to be

your permanent situation

there’s no death sentence for mistakes or regret

unless you pass it on yourself

please hear my plea

reach out to the light

please tell someone

just one person

let one person know

that you are at risk

in the dark

and sad

and feeling alone and desperate and unloved

you’ll never know

unless you reach out

that you can live in the light again

we’ll never know we can help

unless you tell someone

just one person

let one person know

we’ll never know

that we could have been

the light in your darkness

please hear my plea:

you matter to someone

he mattered to me

© 2018 Glover Gardens

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