Like a lot of people, I have some complicated feelings about the death of Anthony Bourdain. As a general rule, I don’t usually have much to say about celebrity deaths other than “Man, that sucks.” But a few, a precious few, manage to hit me like a hammer to the chest. Those are the ones that feel too close to home, the ones who had serious meaning for me. Sometimes it’s because they were someone whose work had a major impact on my life. Other times, it’s because I can relate far too closely to the pain that brought them to the end. Robin Williams hit both of those for me. So, surprisingly, did Bourdain.
Now there’s a lot of talk about in the wake of his death. Many people, myself included, have had a lot to say about living with depression. There are some great resources for getting help if you have mental health issues or how to help someone you love who’s dealing with mental illness in real and material ways. And there are plenty of people arguing about suicide and how to process it all.
But, honestly? I’m getting incredibly tired of talking about death and eulogizing all of the people we’ve lost recently. Because while we should eulogize and mourn and grieve for those we’ve lost, I feel like a fitting monument – especially to larger than life figures like Bourdain – is to learn how to live. Taking inspiration from them and living a better life because of their example is, to my mind, the best tribute one could pay to the ones we’ve lost.
And while you could say many things about Anthony Bourdain, everyone can agree that the man lived – deliberately, passionately and incredibly.
So while we may have lost a larger-than-life figure, we can all learn to live our own lives in a way that Bourdain would’ve admired.
Here’s how you live like you give a damn.