Many years ago, Anthony Bourdain was raising money for charity in a particularly Bourdain-esque way: for the hefty price tag of $10,000, he would take the lucky donor thousands of feet into the air, strap himself to said donor, and. . . jump. Skydiving, Uncle Tony style. Upon landing, Bourdain would personally cook a lavish dinner for the lucky participant and a whole gaggle of his or her pals. It was weird. It was epic. It was Anthony Bourdain in a nutshell: a grand adventure for a great cause. I was around nineteen when I read about the opportunity and seriously considered selling an organ to be able to take him up on it. If I was going to plummet thousands of feet toward the earth strapped to a non-professional, Bourdain was the dream candidate, no contest.

And isn’t that oddball sparkle one of the things we loved most about him? That razor-sharp, no-holds-barred, adrenaline-fueled, so-out-there-only-Bourdain-would-do-it drive? He used his powers for good, championing cultures around the globe, advocating for service industry employees of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and social and economic classes, raising funds for causes he believed in, fighting for women, doing his damndest to right his wrongs, and immersing himself in all facets of various lifestyles and cultures without condescension or superiority, always maintaining a sprinkle (or, let's be real, a thunderstorm) of his signature snark. All in the name of adventure. Of togetherness. Of awareness. Of community. Of damn good food.

His death is unfathomable and painful for so many of us. He will be so, so missed.

To anyone struggling in the midst of this dreadful week:

you are not alone

you are not alone

you are not alone.