So, Kate Spade has committed suicide. And, like millions around the world, I was shocked at the news. My shock, like most people’s, arose from wondering “what the fuck kinda problems could she have?!” Because like most, there is that moment when I do look at the glittering outsides of another’s life and assume all that is shiny is reflected onto the insides of that life. I know that is wrong. So, she killed herself; and what is left with me since hearing the news is a profound empathy for her daughter. You see, I am one of those people who gets angered by suicide (even as there have been those times when I too had been incredibly despondent and suicidal), believing it to be one of the most selfish acts one could commit. And, when one leaves behind a child or children to try to make sense out of this senselessness (which is why I did not go through with it), then I am left with anger toward the deceased.
She killed herself. So, let’s address this…
This morning it was reported her suicide may have been tied to an impending divorce. It seems she and her husband had been separated of late and he had filed, allegedly plummeting her into a depression. This claim seems to be substantiated by the suicide note Spade left her daughter which reads in part, “This has nothing to do with you. Don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad.” Here we go… what kinda fucking shit is this to leave for a child?!? THIS is where any possibility of empathy for what she [Spade] may have been going through, escapes me! “Ask your dad”?!?! So, not only does this child (she is thirteen) have to deal with the death and loss of her mother (through suicide), but now she also must try to reconcile her father’s role in said suicide?! What the fuck was [Spade] trying to do here… mangle any possibility of a healthy and sustaining relationship between father and daughter moving forward? I am so livid at this! Why do people feel as if they have the right to, through their selfish and senseless actions permanently scar the lives of others? Her behavior is no less vile than the actions of those murderers who enter schools because they were “depressed” “psychotic” and “hopeless” and instead of doing the fucking world a favor and just killing themselves, decide to kill so many others. Or, that damned drunk driver who, because of the relaxed state alcohol has put him in, walks away from a mangled murderous mess unscathed. And, let us not forget the ex-playboy model who, because of a custody fight with her ex, jumps from a high-rise window with her seven year old son… killing them both. Just what the fuck is happening?!
Listen. We have discussed mental illness. I am deeply empathetic. Truly. I most certainly have been a visitor in those ‘dark places’ and at times, am still grateful I escaped. I have been balled up, flat out, on my knees and ready to be committed. I have stood at the edge of a subway platform… waiting for the train. I have called the Suicide Hotline because I knew I did not have strength. I know pain. It and I have been intimate. So, I know weakness. But, I also know strength. The strength to recognize that my shoulders have touched yours and my words have spilled onto your lives. So, I recognize that my decisions, all my decisions, those you know about and the ones I do in private, ultimately impact you. I know that as my presence affects you, so too will my absence. I recognize that I owe you. I am accountable to you. So, I reached out. I sought help. I spoke up. I decided my health was bigger and better than any shame I may have felt at any momentary weakness along this journey. I recognized that my despondence was what was weak and my getting help was what was strong. I destigmatized the bullshit I had been fed that was attached to mental and emotional issues by realizing this world, as beautiful, exciting, giving, willing and capable as it is, can also be at times, tough. It makes us show up and pay for what we want and at times, the payment is high. But, so is the reward. So, now when I go to my knees I do it in gratitude to my God for having brought me through.
If we looked at her world, at Robin Williams’ world, we would have assumed a picture unlike what they thought it looked and felt like. I understand that. I understand that, whether I understand or not, they felt their pain was bigger than any hope. I also understand the danger in saying, “If I can do it, so can you.” So instead I will say, “If I can do it, so should you.” You see, our spectacular universe has love, happiness, forgiveness, beauty, safety, success, passion and second/third and fifty chances for all of us… don’t run out on yours. Promise yourself to treat yourself better than you have and you do. Allow yourself multiple déjà vu moments… in one of those moments it will get better. Show up in your life. Show up in your life. Show up in your life. Show up in your life. Never give any thing or any one the power to sap your strength, energy, purpose, peace, happiness or will to live. There is no circumstance that cannot get better or change in time and with help. Unless you end life.
Kate Spade is dead. The fashion world has lost an icon. I am certain anyone with one of her bags is rocking it today as some sort of tribute. I am saddened by her death not because of her, but because of her daughter. I am devastated and afraid for her. I am praying the cause of her death was more than a reaction to an impending divorce; because that… that is fucking bullshit. She owed her [daughter] more than “This has nothing to do with you” because she is so very very wrong… this will have everything to do with her.
Let us vow to speak up. To ask for help. To eradicate shame. Our shoulders have touched. You owe me.