Good Grief: In response to the unexpected death of Anthony Bourdain

In response to the unexpected death of Anthony Bourdain, people all over the internet shared their stories of mourning over someone they loved and lost. I myself realized that I have been mourning for the death of my brother in 2000, the death of my cat in 2006, the death of my mother in 2009 and David’s stroke which pretty much killed his brain and paralyzed his body in December of 2012.

I collected a couple of the comments here. What I realize is we all feel the same. The crushing blow to our hearts and our souls – we all feel this. We may handle it differently, but in many ways, even that is the same. Here are some of the posts that spoke to me:

“The year after my dad died was so bad I don’t remember 90% of it. I moved to a new apartment and was unable to unpack. For months. I was ashamed I couldn’t unpack. How can you be unable to unpack: just open the god-damn boxes. That was the year I cried for 19 days. Straight.”

‘A couple of years later I told a mood-disorder doctor about this time. He said grief is like a really bad concussion. The brain knows something bad has happened. It puts energy into protecting you. That’s why I couldn’t read.”

“I couldn’t cook, or function properly when my dad died. I was paralyzed inside.”

“My mom just passed away a month ago and I can honestly say it’s so hard finding yourself while dealing with trauma! Nothing makes sense to me anymore. I’m stuck in a weird place and I’m trying to find my way back to reality.”

“When my brother died (from depression), I’d only been here a year. People just came to my house. And stayed for days, then came back for weeks. Arrived with horse trailers and cleaned out this apartment. I’ve stayed 15 years because it’s home now.”

“I lost my sister suddenly a few years ago and I remember my friend who had a newborn used to come every day just to be there. We just used to sit and she would hold me. Sadly, she passed away a few years later but I could never repay her kindness. Good friends are everything.”

“My dad died in November 97. I helped all my family get through it, I was fine, I was strong. January 98 I could not get out of bed.”

“Twenty years ago I called into work to say that I wouldn’t be in that night because my boyfriend had committed suicide. That night at 2am after closing my co-workers all came over and sat with me while I cried in my apartment. I will always love them for that.”

“When my mom died suddenly in 2015, I quit my job and moved across the country one month later. Not only was the grief paralyzing in small ways, it also made me make large, strange, impulsive decisions."

“The night my father died, I had just sat down with a friend in my room (rooming house) with a pizza. I had one mouthful. In the weeks after, I couldn’t bear to be there. I slept in my father’s side of my parents’ bed beside my mom. I went home only to get clothes. When I finally went home to stay the pizza was still there mummified. Basically, so was I.”

“My husband died last year, suddenly, two weeks after our basement was ruined from a busted pipe and a month after our daughter’s first birthday. My family swooped in and cleaned by horribly dirty house top to bottom. I was ashamed but so very grateful.”

“After I lost my daughter two of my friends stopped by with huge batches of food they made and froze so I wouldn’t have to cook. I wasn’t ready to see them. I thanked them and went back to bed. They understood.”

“I told my friend in July 2017 that my father had just died in April 2017. A family member reminded me that Dad had died in April 2016. I’d lost track of an entire year.”

“My younger sister died three and a half years ago from cancer and I haven’t wanted to read since. I was a 4 book a month reader before. My brain has been hurt."

“My brother died on January 1st of this year. It’s painful but what I’m doing is letting myself feel whatever it is that pops up. If I get angry at him for dying, I go away somewhere alone, pretend he’s there and yell at him. When I get sad, I let myself cry.”

“People will say it gets better but it doesn’t. You think it does but then you see someone that looks vaguely like them on the street and you want to run and hug that stranger.”

“My grandmother passed away nearly a month ago. I found myself calling her phone just to hear the voice message. Not too long after I found a book she had hand written me filled with all her favorite memories of me growing up. Having this helped.”