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The Replies to Anthony Bourdain’s Last Tweet Are Devastating

Replies to Anthony Bourdain's death on Twitter

Anthony Bourdain had legions of fans around the world who admired and loved him. On Twitter, he had more than 7 million followers. Many have taken to replying to his tweets with messages about Bourdain’s passing, an ever-growing testimonial to how much the man and his work meant to people.

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Bourdain’s final tweet, posted on June 3rd, shared a Soundcloud link with a mix of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” created by “Parts Unknown” composer Michael Ruffino for the CNN show’s Hong Kong episode. “THIS song from the score from tonight’s HONG KONG @PartsUnknownCNN is gonna stay with me,” Bourdain wrote of the evocative music. Bourdain worked on “Parts Unknown” for the last 5 years; the Emmy-winning series was in its eleventh season.

We’ve seen many responses to Bourdain’s death from celebrities and politicians, but the depth of emotions he inspired shines through in these fan tributes that were not created in the public eye.

There is an international collective mourning underway for a person that few of us had the luck to meet but so many of us adored from afar. Here are a few of the replies to Bourdain’s last tweet—their kindness and honesty have been making me tear up all day. I recommend listening to Ruffino’s “Rising Sun Blues” as you read.

Social media is often performative, but there’s something that feels so genuine and honest in these reply tributes to Bourdain. They’re not statements on the matter made on one’s own Twitter or Facebook page—rather, fans have gone to Bourdain’s last tweet and left him a personal message of thanks, loss, mourning, and love, as though speaking directly to the man himself.

There are more than a thousand replies on Bourdain’s tweet at the moment, and I imagine that this number will grow exponentially over the years.

The replies demonstrate the ways that people can feel deep empathy for someone they never knew in “real life” but who mattered a lot in their own lives. It shows how much impact a single person can have, changing the viewpoints of countless others around the world, inspiring them to overcome fears and embark on new adventures. It’s been a beautiful thing to see on a tragic day.

(via Twitter, image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The New Yorker, Twitter)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.

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