Monday, June 25, 2018

TV chefs and tales from the hotel

 My mother was a hotel housekeeper and supervisor for thirty years. She got to see and hear a lot of things. Rich people and business people on expense accounts tend to let their hair down in various ways  when they travel.  While natural deaths in the hotel were not uncommon, suicides were so rare that it only happened twice in my mother's memory. One woman took pills and another hung herself. When  the houseman let himself in he saw her swinging. He staggered back and swooned from the hideous sight.

When TV chef, Anthony Bourdain  hung himself he left a horrible scene for the hotel staff who found him. Some poor person had see his discolored face and what was on the floor. Somebody had to cut him loose. Somebody had to cart his body away. Somebody had to clean up and as soon as the police say that the hotel can rent it out again some staff member is going to have to force themselves to go back into that room and carry on as if nothing happened there. According to the coroner's report there were no drugs in Bourdain's system so his embrace of self annihilation  came from a source  other than being high. Whatever his reasons were, there's nothing romantic in what he did or the mess that he made for innocent people, including his child.

5 comments:

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

If these people only knew what they were doing to their loved ones they wouldn't do it. On one website I read a suicide survivor's statement that it's like a grenade going off in the family. I can testify to that and that the shrapnel has wide ranging injury impact. My brother was a police officer in Baltimore County for years and he said whenever they were called to a suicide, he wanted to kick the body and scream, "Do you know what you're doing to your family and friends?" The answer for most is probably no -- except possibly for the fictional Hannah on 13 Reasons Why who used her suicide to wreak vengeance.

Aqua said...

It is healthy and right to think of the poor people who are left to deal with this death's horror. This who think of others in this way will be more kind and considerate. Suicide and other selfish acts will be replaced by acts of charity, goodwill and kindness. Be sorry for the innocent, such as the poor hotel cleaning staff. God bless them.

Lazarus Gethsemane said...

"Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world. His act is worse (symbolically considered) than any rape or dynamite outrage. For it destroys all buildings: it insults all women. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not: that is his crime. He cannot be bribed, even by the blazing stones of the Celestial City. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it. He defiles every flower by refusing to live for its sake. There is not a tiny creature in the cosmos at whom his death is not a sneer. When a man hangs himself on a tree, the leaves might fall off in anger and the birds fly away in fury: for each has received a personal affront. Of course there may be pathetic emotional excuses for the act. There often are for rape, and there almost always are for dynamite. But if it comes to clear ideas and the intelligent meaning of things, then there is much more rational and philosophic truth in the burial at the cross-roads and the stake driven through the body, than in Mr. Archer's suicidal automatic machines. There is a meaning in burying the suicide apart. The man's crime is different from other crimes -- for it makes even crimes impossible." ~ G.K.Chesterton

Kathleen1031 said...

I could be wrong about this but it seems as if I read somewhere that to hang oneself is a rather vengeful act. Certainly it seemed so for Kate Spade, who not only left a horrible note for her 13 year-old daughter that "it is not your fault", but also said directly it WAS the child's father's fault! "Ask your Dad" it said. She apparently intended this to punish her husband who was filing for divorce, but guaranteed their child will pay the biggest price, Dad will go on.
And Anthony Bourdain was reportedly very smitten with a young Italian woman, who posted something very angry hours before he died. One gets the impression he was a lonely man, despite all the accolades and willing hangers on and company.
When I was in grad school, a young student came to me and pulled me out of class to tell me she was very sick, she had a lung disease. I was so busy with school and family, I did not keep up with her as I should have. She killed herself by running her car in a garage. I regret very much not following up with her, it is painful to consider what I might have helped to prevent. Survivors are left with guilt, which must be terrible for close family members.

Jackie said...

Suicide is a terrible thing, but please remember the mercy of God. Most suicides are a result of terrible mental illnesses where the person cannot think rationally. In a sense it is selfish, but it is also a desperate attempt to end the torment the person is in.