I want to start this post by saying, if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please have call the National Suicide Prevention Line. It’s free and confidential 24/7 support for you and your loved ones: 1-800-273-8255

It was the news alert that made me want to finally turn off news alerts. The worst possible way to wake up on a Friday morning. “Anthony Bourdain—chef and Emmy-winning TV host—dies at 61 of apparent suicide.”

I wasn’t the only one who woke up with that news and wanted to call in sick to work and stay in bed all day with the curtain closed. Countless chefs, home cooks, writers, journalists, world travelers, and fans of great food and good stories took to social media to grieve. Though Bourdain would have probably scoffed at the idea of so many people sharing a photo of him and acting like they knew him.

If you’ve ever traveled, cooked, or even just looked at the world through open eyes you felt connected to Bourdain. That’s why this is so fucking rough. We all felt some connection with him even if we didn’t know him. We all pictured ourselves at least in some small way, having a piece of his “no-bullshit” way of looking at food, travel or life.

It’s too easy to fetishize celebrity deaths as something personal or meaningful especially with social media. This time it feels so different.

I’ve been writing about food off and on since 2012 to say, I’ve been influenced by Anthony Bourdain is an understatement.  This blog and everything good that came from it wouldn’t exist without him. Though I never met the man, I’ve meet and worked with people who have. The impact he made on the restaurant, travel, and television industries is undeniable.

He helped connect the world and so many of us felt that connection in at least some small way. There is so much more I could say, but I’ll keep it short. Keep your light lit, even if you can only see darkness, to some your light is a beacon.