I am in shock.
I’ll admit that I’ve internally scoffed when I have seen friends and acquaintances post about their deep sadness and heartbreak regarding celebrity deaths. I really didn’t get it.
So, shame on me.
As an example, I know people were devastated by the deaths of Prince and Bowie – and too many more to list. While I could appreciate the void their loss brought to many, the difference for me was that I never wanted to be them – but God damn, I sure did want to be like him.
Having grown up with Martha + Julia + Ina, I was used to this perfectly polished, polite world of chefs and cooking. But being exposed to Bourdain was like having AC/DC play at a baptism. It was like, “SHIT!” cooking can be so freaking rock n’ roll. Cooking and talking about food can be gritty, and sexy, and you can even swear! His existence and unapologetic honesty proved to my wise-crackin’- slightly wild self that maybe I could have a small voice in this space, and for that I am eternally grateful.
It’s hard to explain the feelings I’ve had today – but it feels like an irreplaceable light in our collective lighthouse has gone out. While I was in no way close to him, it made me happy to know that this light, this person, this exceptional human existed out there in the universe doing his thing that inspired me to do my thing. The world lost a visionary and for that, my heart breaks.
One small bit of solace that I’ve seen today is the sheer volume of people posting about him, his influence, his wit, his charm and brilliance. I’m not sure any of it would have changed anything for him, but for those of us who took his passion and were inspired by it – it has made me awe-struck at his impact.
Tonight, I’ll raise a glass to all he taught me.
Rest in rock n’ roll and peace brother.