I have to admit – Anthony Bourdain’s suicide has hit me very hard. I don’t know him. I have only watched him for a couple of years. To be fair? I had seen promos before and thought I would hate his show. I ended up watching one. And then another. And fell in love with his way – finally fully appreciating it.
Anthony Bourdain was real. Flawed. Not shy to admit his flaws. An extreme talent. And again – very real.
As is his suicide.
In the immediate aftermath, we have very genuine shock. Commemorations. Testimonies. Genuine upset. And we have the requisite, “Call if you need help – National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
YES – this is good. YES – we need this to be there.
But I keep feeling very hollow with these posts. I keep feeling that everyone is missing something. I have called the hotline. They have helped. But honestly? For me, for many others, I fear, this hotline and simply “reaching out” is just not enough.
Most of my family and friends know of my few years of trouble now. Some know of my first real attempt – that really should have worked. – but didn’t.
Reaching out? Talking to someone? Many of us do this all the time. And sadly, it doesn’t help.
There are reasons people are in such pain that they come to, what is to them, to us, a very rationale decision. It is very often the very little things that help the most. Some very simple stories in a previous post, prompted by Ana Marie Cox, point to many of these stories with a Twitter hashtag.
My short term conclusions?
Be nice. Notice. Care. These, on a personal level.
Don’t take advantage. Don’t attack. Don’t penalize at extremes. On a corporate level.
If we just cared a little more. If we focused on helping people. Bringing others up. Simply caring, and showing a modicum of respect and understanding. It would save lives.
Do we care? Does society care? Or is posting a toll-free number enough, and hey – wish ’em luck.
Call this number if you are in crisis: 1-800-273-8255.
But those of you who are not in crisis? Please, take the time to notice. To care. To check up. To help out. To advocate.
I never thought I would be in this position. I never quite understood either.
Today, I do. And today? I hope you can spend a few minutes and try to understand too. The effort you put in today may save a life. It may save a loved one. It may even save YOU.