In a lengthy post on Facebook, Kilmer called his friend “so selfish,” blasting the late chef-turned-TV host for taking his own life. “Oh the dark thick pain of loss. The selfishness,” he begins. “How many moments away were you from feeling the love that was universal. From every corner of the world you were loved. So selfish. You’ve given us cause to be so angry.”
Kilmer tells a story about “a spiritual guide” who once explained to him why “suicide is the most selfish act.”
“So what? I hear you took your life in paris. What hotel? Did you relapse? Did you just get home from the best meal of your life? Did you cheat on your girl. Those of us that knew you are shocked and angry and angry and angry selfishly angry, for what you just did to us. Millions I should think. At least a million people like me who imagine they know you. Some imagine they know you even well,” he writes. “But you heard that phone ringing, you felt it buzzing in your coat or pants pocket, vibrating a million times, but you didn’t answer it. You let it ring out. Did you bleed out? Did you suffocate? Did you jump. No you didn’t jump. Is it important we know how you did it? No. But that you did it.”
Kilmer also acknowledged his own health issues; he has battled throat cancer in the past two years. “Would you have taken your life two years ago when like me you were unable to take in food and move it with your tongue over your taste buds because your tongue was too swollen? Is too swollen,” he writes. The actor has just signed on to the Top Gun sequel, his first major role since recovering from cancer.
He also refers to the 11-year-old daughter Bourdain left behind: “Altho I’ve never met a meal I didn’t like in the last 40 years except anything with too much cilantro. Was that it? You woke up and realized you were no longer hungry. And that even with a young daughter at home you would never be hungry enough again to want to take in breath. Was your father’s hate so still so present as to cloud over every last sunny moment of every single damn day Anthony. Oh darkness.”
Kilmer continues, “You could have and should have given it one more shot. Sometimes we must live in service to another’s life and live with no hope of equality. Life isn’t fair that way. Who says you had a right to take away all this love from us so soon?”
The actor concludes: “I fell asleep to watching you enjoy Uruguay last night. It was a rerun but I always find something I didn’t see before… you left too soon. And I’m going to prove it…”
The backlash on social media after the post was swift, and Kilmer has responded to some of those who, he believes, missed the point.
“Wow just wow it’s attitudes like this that make having this invisible illness deadly! Selfish you have no clue what it’s like then to have this illness and be in a place so dark and desperate that you feel the world would be better off without you in it!” one Facebook user wrote. “To imply your illness is worse is clueless and insensitive .. people are continuing to die from mental health related issues yet you like many think or imply we need to just think happy thoughts.”
Kilmer replied to the woman, saying “love can heal.”
“It is not that I believe because he had an illness it was up to him to be solely responsible,” he said. “You I am sorry to say, didn’t read what I wrote very carefully. I have grown up around extreme depression my whole life and have studied it intensely. I certainly wouldn’t judge his pain nor did I claim to. But clearly he felt he couldn’t take another breath and Love and a search for it enables us to try one more time. Is it not selfish that he could not consider his poor daughters needs for even an hour before committing the act. I am sorry you feel so violated as to wish to not know me in any way or now wish to find no value in my art. The way you talk makes me think you didn’t pay much attention to bourdains life or words either. He tried to see the big picture, and his tireless effort lead him to see sometimes very deeply…”
Another woman also fired back, commenting, “I’m incredibly sad to hear your angry words and accuse a person of being so selfish.” She went on to share her own experience of becoming suicidal due to postpartum depression.
Kilmer replied, “I’m angry because I love him and what he stood for. I’m so grateful you shared your story. You we’re open to Love on that crucial day. Anthony Bourdain was not for whatever reason. I don’t claim to know what it was.”
Twitter users were not forgiving to Kilmer, either.
dude when you’re in the throes of depression THAT deep, options become few..it’s like the way old movies would end with the screen shrinking to a black hole, fading away…when you’re in that area, common sense, logic, creative options are not to be found…only hopelessness.
— jc (@canali01) June 8, 2018
No one is angry… If you are angry that on you.
Speak for yourself, don’t speak for other ppl.
— Jenna (@jenna92821) June 8, 2018
@valkilmer I have lost friends to suicide and Until you’ve stared down that level of depression, until you’ve lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness… you don’t get to make those judgments.
— Stephanie Sweet (@SweetStephanie7) June 8, 2018
Selfish? People don’t just choose to kill themselves because they are having a bad day, they are suffering unbelievable pain and their unwell mind tells them there is no hope, their loved ones will be better off without them – untruths, similar to your spirit guide.
— Phylise Ann Rista (@AnnRista) June 8, 2018
— nativeflchick (@temporareality) June 8, 2018
You can read Kilmer’s post in its entirety here and below.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-74. You can also go online here.
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