Anthony Bourdain died today. First thing I saw on my newsfeed. For some reason it left a very profound sadness in me. I didn’t know him, didn’t watch his show, Parts Unknown, faithfully, although I did watch from time to time if I found it interesting.
He seemed like he had it all. Money, travel, fame and he got to eat some of the best damn food in the world. But beyond that, he connected with people. People shared their recipes, their food, but mostly their thoughts, their life, their country and what makes people tick.
I wondered as I thought about all this. People die all the time but this was a suicide and that makes it different. It makes one realize that what you see on the surface is often a far cry from the inner person, their demons, their troubles and something so strong as to leave the world leaving an eleven-year-old daughter behind.
Yes, people commit suicide all the time and most of the time we don’t even hear about it, or it doesn’t make an impact not like it does when it is a celebrity that we follow. Someone that we see on our tv screen and relate to at times.
I wondered again as to why this impacted me so much. Then that made me think of all the people in our lives that die. People so close to us that the hurt doesn’t just last a few days like it does with a celebrity but the rest of our lifetime perhaps, or close to it.
And it brought me to a conclusion or at least a theory. It’s continuity. We don’t like change. The people in our lives that are around us either in person or on tv are staples to our frame of mind, to our feeling of comfort and peace of mind that although things might be going to hell in the political world, these people are constant.
Another example is the cancellation of a tv series that one has been following and looking forward to each week. When it gets cancelled in the middle of it before it has had a chance to play out and come to a logical and perhaps satisfying conclusion, we are hurt. We don’t like it. It has upset our balance of comfort, our continuity.
So, really, it’s all about us. How we feel about ourselves. How the death of someone that we know or know of is going to affect us in our daily life. I remember when Elvis died and I was young, just early 30s. Elvis had been part of my comfort life since I’d been fourteen. And that was most of my life. So, it hit me hard. I even wrote a poem about it. I thought at that time that things would never be the same. How could I live on when Elvis was dead? Yep, sad maybe but idols and celebrities sometimes are part of our life even if we never really know them. So, like with Anthony, they have a life that we are not part of but the part of their life that we know means something to us.
Us humans like stability, safety, knowing that tomorrow things will be the same even if we long for change, we find it hard to accept it when it comes.
So, to sum up, we are all about ourselves, how things make us feel, and whether they create havoc in our lives with nothing we can do about it. We like to be in charge but that is fickle since we are in charge of very little. And I think that scares us a bit. When things in the outside world change, we know that changes us just a little bit. And so, we must adapt.