Details are emerging about Anthony Bourdain’s apparent suicide. Among them, the celebrity chef was reportedly found unresponsive in his hotel room in France by his close friend, French chef Eric Ripert.
The two were filming an upcoming episode of Bourdain’s CNN series Parts Unknown, CNN reports. Ripert called Bourdain his “best friend” in a tweet and called him “an exceptional human being, so inspiring & generous.”
Anthony was my best friend. An exceptional human being, so inspiring & generous. One of the great storytellers who connected w so many. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love & prayers are also w his family, friends and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/LbIeZK14ia
— Eric Ripert (@ericripert) June 8, 2018
Ripert is an award-winning chef, co-owner of Le Bernardin, and author or co-author of a number of books, including his memoir, 32 Yolks, and five cookbooks, My Best: Eric Ripert, Avec Eric, On the Line, and A Return to Cooking, and the Le Bernardin Cookbook.
While Ripert is a famous chef in his own right, he has also appeared on Bourdain’s shows throughout the years, including several episodes of Parts Unknown and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. The two seemed to have had an easy friendship filled with jokes, musings on life and food, and pranks. “I like to bring the distinguished three-star Michelin chef and good friend Eric Ripert someplace every year and torture him,” Bourdain quipped on his show last year.
In reacting to the news of Bourdain’s death on social media, many have pointed out how tragic the experience must have been for Ripert.
The thought of Eric Ripert finding his dear friend Anthony Bourdain this morning…oh, Twitter. I'm barely holding it together in this coffeeshop.
— Nicki Porter (@nickimporter) June 8, 2018
Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain had the perfect bromance. Omg I loved watching them or reading stories. Like the time Anthony Bourdain had Eric Ripert eating spicy food and called the French palate delicate and took him to Hooters after as a reprieve
— Leo Dostoyevsky (@IAmBumblebee) June 8, 2018
one of the most heartbreaking parts of bourdain's passing is that eric ripert was the one who found him. i always admired their strong, beautiful & intimate friendship and i hope ripert has someone to talk to about losing his best friend.https://t.co/oMTt9CNne4
— patricia @ jsconf eu (@patriciarealini) June 8, 2018
Wow this is fucked. I’ll miss you @Bourdain. Totally sideways that Eric Ripert found him.. god damn. Sad day.
— Ry Prichard (@CannabisEncyclo) June 8, 2018
Eric Ripert was the one who found him. I can't imagine. I just can't imagine.
— Howie from Maryland (@HoCoHowie) June 8, 2018
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) June 8, 2018
Finding a friend or loved one who has died is traumatic, but when suicide is involved it’s “deeply traumatic,” psychologist Alicia Clark, author of the upcoming book Hack Your Anxiety, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “A lot of times, friends and family are the ones who stop people from suiciding,” she says. “It will likely be in a loved one’s head, ‘What could I have done?’”
Often someone in this situation may experience what’s known as survivor’s guilt, Charles R. Figley, director of the Tulane University Traumatology Institute, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. This often includes asking whether they let their loved one down and “all the woulda, shoulda, couldas,” Figley says.
People in this situation are at risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, and their loved ones should be aware of the possibility that they could hurt themselves as a coping mechanism, John Mayer, a clinical psychologist and author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
It’s impossible to forget an experience like this, Clark says, and a person who finds a loved one dead by suicide can expect that it will be difficult to work through the emotions surrounding the experience — especially at first. It’s hard to put a timeline on any phase of the grieving process, but if someone can’t stop thinking about what happened and finds that their grief is getting in the way of functioning normally after four weeks, it’s a good idea to seek help from a mental health professional, Clark says.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.