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Anthony Bourdain Performed Ancient ‘Death Ritual’ During Final ‘Parts Unknown’ Episode: ‘Life Is But a Dream’

Anthony Bourdain Tamara Beckwith / NY Post / MEGA

Anthony Bourdain reflected on the meaning of life during the final episode of his hit CNN series Parts Unknown. The episode aired on Sunday, June 24, a little over two weeks after his death, and just one day before what would have been his 62nd birthday.

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Bourdain, along with director Darren Aronofsky, performed an ancient “death ritual” while exploring the area of Bhutan in South Asia. The two bonded with yak herders and and sipped traditional welcome drinks together.

In a voiceover for one scene, Bourdain says, “It is considered enlightening and therapeutic to think about death for a few minutes a day,” before another man can be heard reflecting on the culture’s take on death in a video preview posted by the network.

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“Yes,” the man responds, “you are reminded time and again not to take things too seriously. This is, in fact, an illusion.”

“Life is but a dream,” the famed chef added.

Aronofsky reflected on the episode telling CNN that “it seems ironic now that on our last day of shooting we performed a Bhutanese death ritual.”


He continued: “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.”

As for Bourdain’s work ethic, the Mother! director says, “I have rarely witnessed talent on his scale be so willingly present and real.”

Aronofsky added of his pal: “His death is incomprehensible. I don’t know how to process him being gone.”

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Bourdain was found dead by pal Eric Ripert on Friday, June 8, in a French hotel room. His cause of death was by suicide, and a French judicial official confirmed to The New York Times on June 22 that there were no narcotics found in his body at the time of death.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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