The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Hit like a frying pan

I only found out yesterday that GQ came out with an article about Anthony Bourdain, compiled of snippets from the people that really knew him. I knew I had to read it immediately and in private the words just resonated with me, especially this quote from Lydia Tenaglia and Chris Collins, his colleagues from Zero Point Zero Productions, and who he’d been working with his whole television career. People were detailing how they found out and this is what they said:

Tenaglia: I don’t think it was a shock that one day we would get a call. It was like, “Okay. Maybe we should prepare ourselves that one day Tony’s either gotten into a plane crash, or flipped on an ATV, had a heart attack.”

Collins: Not expecting, but you acknowledge that it could happen.

Tenaglia: But we didn’t expect that call. It’s like someone’s just hit you with a giant fucking frying pan. (source here)

I think all the fans, everyone who followed his career, watched his shows, read his books, all felt like with his lifestyle and the dangerous places he goes, there was a risk involved. There was a big possibility that we would lose him to one of those ATVs that kept flipping when he was riding them, or his body would give out, or he would be in some country that wasn’t safe from war or conflict and he would get stuck in the crossfire. Not the way we lost him. And I say we lost because most people I talk to feel like this man, who travelled across countries and sat with every single type of person and shared a meal with them, was someone they knew. And loved (or hated). 

It was terrible to lose him to such a tragedy. We can all blame external causes but internal demons can hurt people so much more than the outside. It can be a moment, it can be years of pain and hurt, but it only takes one attempt that pushes through to snuff out the light that makes the person themselves.

I don’t think he knew how much he meant to the world, but the world is still grieving his loss. Nobody could do what he had accomplished when he sought out to see the world. The rest of the world saw it with him and it might not have been pretty all the time, but that’s the reality of the place we live in.

So any time, anyone is thinking the world is better off without them in it, don’t. You mean more than you can imagine and you will leave a wound that would not be easy to repair. 

If you’re in the Philippines, here are the numbers for the people who deal with this professionally:

Hotline: (02) 8969191
Hotline: Mobile phone: 0917 854 9191

Or if that won’t work for you, let me know. We can all help each other.

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