In the season finale of the CNN show Parts Unknown, which aired about two weeks after its host’s untimely suicide, Anthony Bourdain participated in a traditional “death ritual” and spent some time contemplating his own morality as well as life overall.
As reported by Page Six, the episode, which aired on June 24, showcased the famed chef as well as his friend, director Darren Aronofsky, traversing Bhutan in South Asia.
Throughout the episode, the pair shared a meal with traditional yak herders in the Himalayas and enjoyed a dining experience in the country’s capital of Thimpu.
The focus on life and death in the episode came about due to the structure of the country’s very traditionally unaltered religion, Bhutanese Buddhism.
Their faith reminds people consistently “time and again, not to take things too seriously. This is, in fact, an illusion.”
“Life is but a dream” is Bourdain’s retort.
The host then went on to explain that, in that culture, “It is considered enlightening and therapeutic to think about death for a few minutes a day.”
In speaking to CNN, Aronofsky wrote “It seems ironic now that on our last day of shooting we performed a Bhutanese death ritual. We debated the fate of the country, the fate of the world.”
“He was perplexed as to how mankind’s endless hunger to consume could be curtailed.”
The footage of the ritual was reportedly shot roughly six months ago, and the crew had already begun shooting for Season 12. It is unclear if or how the network plans to air it.
Bourdain was found dead at 61-years-old earlier this month in his hotel room in Kayersberg, France, where he had been filming an episode of the show.
Christian de Rocquigny, the prosecutor of Colmar in France’s Alsace region, issued a statement at the time that “there is no element that makes us suspect that someone came into the room at any moment.” He also mentioned that there were no physical indications of foul play on the famed television host’s body.
Rocquigny also confirmed that the celebrity chef had died in the bathroom of the room at Le Chambard Hotel.
Rocquigny explained that Bourdain had used the belt of his hotel bathrobe to hang himself.
Bourdain’s suicide brought out waves of support from all corners of the television, critic, and food industries, who mourned the loss of someone who had set a precedent for all other hosts of his nature to follow.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.