One Survivor’s Reaction to Kate Spade’s Passing by Brook Sanders

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Please don’t get me wrong, I am so saddened to hear of the death of Kate Spade. It hurts my heart physically to hear the word suicide in any situation. However, I am so conditioned to look for it when certain groups of people die. Were they young? Did they have an illness? Was an accident reported in the area recently? Bingo. I’d put my money on the death being a suicide. Yet, I am still shocked when I hear it. 

That aside, I am so tired of reading “but she was so successful, she had everything, she was on top of the world.” I don’t want to sound insensitive, but isn’t it quite insensitive to insinuate that she shouldn’t die by suicide because she was rich and famous, but my love could? How fantastic for the rich and famous if mental illness discriminated and only got every day Joes. 
How is it that the minute a celebrity is diagnosed with cancer, enters rehab, etc. we hear about it immediately, but never of those who suffer from mental illness? Tabloids can’t wait to report on the latest round of unfortunate medical news in Hollywood. There is such a stigma placed on mental illness that getting help is viewed as shameful in our society. If you seek help you are weak. If you suffer from mental illness you are disgraceful. At least everyday Joes don’t have the tabloids reporting on their goings on to worry about, only the shame within their circle. We, as a society, must find a way to reduce the stigma on mental illness and lift up those brave enough to seek help. 
In a perfect world, suicide would get no one, but please don’t assume that everyday Joes are more deserving of dying by suicide because they “don’t have it all, aren’t on top of the world, and don’t have everything.” #RIPTommy 11/1/1978-8/14/2015 

4 Responses

  1. Gail Kincaid
    | Reply

    Thank you! This really hit home with me. My husband was in his mid 50’s. He suffered from problems caused by depression but even being an ordinary person he is no less special than a celebrity.

  2. Kelley
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your reaction to another tragedy that made “news”.
    Strange as it may seem, upon reading the news of Kate Spade I felt an immediate connection to the complete shock the family expressed. I felt their horror and their shock that her suicide left behind. I knew instantly the lasting impact her death will have on her daughter and family for the rest of their lives. As I read the article I viewed her suicide as an unbearable, emotional pain that didn’t rationalize the impact this would have on the daughter left behind. For just a few moments my sister’s suicide felt a little less personal. It felt like an unbearable moment took a tragic turn. Always tragic.

  3. Katherine
    | Reply

    So true. Hugs and love

  4. Ang
    | Reply

    Thank you. Beautifully said and so true.

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