Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" defined my family's Sunday dinner. What attracted us the most was how genuine, kind-hearted, and selfless his personality was in every single episode. Exploring the mysterious and extraordinary boundaries of the world, he was able to bring together families like mine simply by being himself. Which makes us wonder, with all of his success, fame, money, and fortune, what could have possibly led him to his demise?
I believe, as viewers, we have a narrow-minded depiction of fame and fortune. Through the lens we see public figures, we cannot identify the difference between a performance and real life. We continuously see famous people as vibrant, full of life people and we assume they have no bad days.
Eventually, we fall into the trap of believing that "they have it all," so they shouldn't have any reason to be upset. However, sometimes this happiness we see is less authentic and more of a show. Many of Bourdain's friends stated that towards the end of career he simply filmed then went straight into his room.
The happiness projected to his viewers became scripted over time.
Everyone, including public figures, experience internal demons. And I am sure the ones Bourdain was battling could not have been solved with money or fame.
"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."
Anthony Bourdain's death was a travesty to people around the world due to all of the lives he influenced. But it's quite the juxtaposition that we are so heartbroken when a public figure commits suicide, when people under our roof are experiencing the same darkness.
The fact that so much attention is being drawn to suicide and mental health now that people like Anthony Bourdain have exposed their personal struggles is quizzical.
A step towards helping something as serious as suicide starts with our own family and friends. And I can assure you reaching out and being a compassionate friend, sibling, daughter or son is way more valuable than a cliche, millennial tweet. On that note, don't forget to take care of your loved ones every day, because you never know what internal battle they may be fighting.