How will I go? When will I go? I often wonder of my demise. Will it hurt? Will it be quick or last years? It all ends sometime. It is the finale. Everything builds to that moment whether we realize it or not. It seems a shame not to be aware when the time comes. I think the best way to go would be to grow so old, you welcome death. To be tired of living and no longer fearing it. No longer caring of fitting in or missing out and letting go of the people in your life. They won't go when I go.
There have been many deaths of notable people in the last few years and recent weeks. A few of them felt personal. David Bowie was a hard one to take. I feel that most of my life I knew him through his music. He was there and still is. He planned out his death and left us with incredible dignity. He died of liver cancer. Chris Cornell was another that comes to mind. He died "Just like Suicide." Recently we lost two great personalities to suicide. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have left the physical world. They live on in our hearts, minds, products and media. I will hold on to my Jack Spade messenger bag as long as I can. It's a product that will remind me of a time when Kate Spade bags were the hottest new thing. I didn't know much about Kate Spade except for her products. Jen, my wife was in the handbag game during Kate Spade's reign and is the reason I am aware of these products. Anthony Bourdain is a different story.
Jen and I moved to Hoboken, New Jersey across the river from Manhattan in 2000. Anthony Bourdain wrote his break out article "Don't Eat Before Reading This" for The New Yorker in 1999. In 2000 he came out with Kitchen Confidential. Kitchen Confidential took off and was the talk of the town. We feel like we were here with Tony from the beginning. We moved to NYC for adventures in food and fun. We looked for people in the know. We looked for guidance to navigate the restaurant and bar scene. Anthony Bourdain was one of the voices to listen to. We followed his career, watched his shows, read his books, took advantage of his recommendations and even started a food blog about our experiences, In NYC. He was a voice and personality that we could trust and losing him is tough. We never met the man but he was someone we thought we knew. He was like an old friend that you could hang out with all night, eat, drink and talk about life. We related to his writing and his TV shows. He educated and entertained us. His shows were always smart and on a level above all other television shows. His death brings up many questions and feelings. It really pisses me off and fills me with sympathy at the same time.
It's hard for most people to understand why someone ends their life early. It's even tougher to understand when that person is a successful, compassionate and intelligent person that you connect with. Unless Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade wrote suicide notes, we will never really know what they were thinking. Depression is exhausting. It changes everything. I suffer from depression and it can be overwhelming. I can understand wanting to get out from under the cloud of depression and I have had moments when I thought of ending it. I'm glad I stuck it out. I don't know how it's going to end but I'm sticking around to find out.
We should all be in this together, but we are not. It's a nice thought, but it's not reality. Many of us are alone in a crowd. Depression can be so powerful that famous celebrities surrounded by amazing people can't get out from under it. Depression isolates people and can be hard to detect. NYC has some examples. In a city of millions of people you can go undetected. You can hide in plain sight. People fade out of the crowd everyday in NYC. The homeless guy on the street, how did he get to that place in his/her life? It seems like the celebrity and the homeless person are in two separate worlds but they are closer than you think. Mental health issues change lives in extreme ways and we witness it on an almost daily basis in NYC. But, NYC also has an amazing support system with many groups, meetings and individuals that if you reach out will help you understand and get the help you need.
It has only been three days since Anthony Bourdain was found dead by hanging and we can only assume it was depression. Most people can get help for depression. Understanding the signs and what you are experiencing may help you get through it and live a normal happy life. I can only speak for myself, but understanding my depression has helped me realize that it will pass, others may not be as lucky. I believe in assisted suicide. I think ending your life is a right. You should be able to choose your ending rather than suffering through a terminal illness or severe mental conditions. I also believe the person making the decision to end their life should talk with professionals before making the final decision. It seems extreme to some, but if you are suffering you should have the right to choose assisted suicide.
The list of friends, family and celebrity grows everyday. Sometimes their time is up and sometimes a life is taken prematurely. We'll make the list one day. We all have death in common and we should probably talk about it much more then we do. Open honest discussion helps us understand each other and our humanity. It may have prevented many from leaving us too soon. I'm hoping to leave a mark on this world that will stay long after I'm gone. I'm working on it. Anthony Bourdain was an inspiration.
Anthony Michael Bourdain (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) http://www.in-nycsite.com