Anthony Bourdain Was Reportedly ‘In a Dark Mood’ in the Days Before His Death

Anthony Bourdain’s death seemed to come out of nowhere to many of his fans and friends, and people, both those who knew him and those who only knew him through his work, are still trying to figure out why. Talking to The New York Times, the paper at which she works as an editor, Bourdain’s mother Gladys Bourdain said she had never suspected he might have been suicidal.

“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” Ms. Bourdain said.

Ms. Bourdain said Mr. Ripert had told her that “Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days,” but she had no idea why he might have decided to kill himself. “He had everything,” she said. “Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”

She’s referring to Eric Ripert, Bourdain’s friend who sometimes appeared with him on his travelogue show Parts Unknown. Ripert was filming with Bourdain in France when he died.

People spoke with a source from Bourdain’s show who said Bourdain worked a tough schedule, but that it wasn’t anything unusual for him.

“​His travel schedule was grueling and he often seemed quite beat-up from it, as anyone would be,” a source who worked closely with Bourdain in the past year tells PEOPLE of the 61-year-old American chef and TV host, who died of an apparent suicide in France. “He’d put everything into the shoots and then go back to his room to isolate.”

The host of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France by close friend and French chef Eric Ripert, according to CNN. Both were filming an upcoming episode of Bourdain’s award-winning show.

“It never struck me as peculiar, but it was as if he gave everything to his work and then had nothing, zero, left for himself afterwards,” adds the source. “He was always very, very tried. He pushed himself extremely hard. Most producers and crew don’t work on every single episode, it’s just too much especially if you have a family. But that wasn’t an option for Tony. We never had any sense of depression or mental illness. He was not especially cheerful or engaging, off camera, but it was never rude or ill-intentioned. The guy was absolutely exhausted.”

Genius is often troubled or tortured, and we, as a society tend to romanticize that darkness. But channeling your darkness into productivity or brilliance doesn’t actually alleviate it. If you’re struggling with that sort of darkness, you should get help, even if it’s just asking a friend to talk. Or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

[Image: Peabody Awards]

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