Anthony Bourdain

So many of us have been crushed by Anthony Bourdain's death. Bourdain had a way of asking people simple questions, and getting them to show their souls. He did this with people across cultural lines, around the world. And he brought these people and cultures into our homes. We felt we understood them, whether they were from Bali or Buenos Aires. Bourdain appeared kind, sensitive, open and raw. And he had swagger, let's admit it!  A treasure.  We knew he was vulnerable because he showed his vulnerability in everything he did, including his loving of other people.

I want to honor Bourdain for all that he gave the world, I want to honor and remember his unusual gifts, his soul. I don't want him to be remembered just for his last sad days, and the end, which hurts all of us who cared for him, even us who were just fans.

Yet, I am pulled into the story of his death. I have searched the internet for clues and details. I have struggled to understand. His death has triggered memories, sadness, other griefs of my life. It seems that there is a little of his story, as much as we understand it,  in many of our own stories. Unrequited love, heartbreak, emptiness, emotional exhaustion, sadness. Huge highs, followed by crushing lows.

The vicissitudes of this life journey of ours, all the more intense for someone as gifted as Anthony Bourdain.

I contemplate the personal resources I have in my life. In my mind, I list all the people I could call if ever I was in distress. I remember that Jesus said that faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains. Hmm, I say. All I need is a mustard seed of faith within me. A mustard seed is very tiny. I have that.

I don't need the mountains to move, but sometimes I do need to feel that the heavens are cracking open and that our creator is showering me with love. I contemplate that image as I swim my laps, my own personal meditation time. My mustard seed is enough to crack open the heavens and release God's love into my life.

The whole world needs the heavens to open and for love to pour out over us. The whole world needs it, now. Please.

When tragedies happen, we often ask: where was God then? Where was God when Anthony Bourdain was alone in his hotel room in France, suffering unbearably?

Where is God for me? My mustard seed of faith tells me that God was with Anthony Bourdain, sharing his agony, as God chose to share all of our suffering in person through Jesus on the cross. God was with Anthony all along, suffering with him, and God took him to a resting place of peace.

This is what my faith looks like. It isn't proof. It is my choice to have faith: it is how I choose to walk my earthly life...

May we all find our way to make peace with struggles and challenges of life, and may we all find purpose for our lives.  May you find your way, your own way.

My purpose is to do my best to act in love.

I pray for all who have been affected by suicide, that they may find comfort and peace.



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