With Deepest Sympathy On the News of Kate Spade

I am deeply disturbed by the current media reports of Kate Spade’s death. I didn’t know her, but one doesn’t have to, to be rocked by the news. I’ve been thinking of a short-sighted, general indictment I’ve heard throughout my life concerning feminine rivalry. Apparently, it’s widely assumed that this is the norm among women, but I beg to differ– and it’s not as though I’m a member of any sisterhood for the sake of itself. The fact is much to the contrary; I’m a bit of a loner by nature and temperament. But when a woman of my generation rises to stratospheric heights of international success by contributing to the masses with an art of her making, something within me cheers and thinks she succeeded on behalf of us all. My pride swells as if to say, “Look at what one of us did!” When one woman shines so brightly, she serves as inspiration for the rest of us. Such a woman is a representative of the best in us all. I believe this is why we identify with women that achieve great abundance. There’s a part within all of us that believes if one of us succeeds, I can, too. For this very reason, it’s disillusioning when one of us leaves by her own hand. We don’t talk about it among ourselves, but when one of us gives up, it’s sobering. An internal voice questions, “What? This is an option?” For some of us, it may go deeper than this. For some of us, it may come to the thought, “There by the grace of God go I.” That’s the side of this that’s scary. It touches on a consideration by which most of us are horrified. We couldn’t commit suicide; would never think of it, and we congratulate ourselves for our stout mettle, even as we discount we’ve known one of those days, or perhaps a spiraling bout where it seemed all was lost. But we reel ourselves out of the momentary lapse of reason. And though we’re exhausted, we find the fortitude to soldier on. But what of those women who suffer from debilitating mental anguish? What of those unreachable from the comforting arm of fortifying connections? Because women look to each other for guidance in this business of living. We are role models to each other for how to comport ourselves in the face of great adversity.
With the breaking news of Kate Spade’s suicide, I am counting my blessings. I am thinking of my close friendships and not taking them for granted. I am sending a prayer heaven’s way for Kate Spade and her family. At the center of all this is a resonant prayer for all those suffering from the heartbreak of despair, be it mental, spiritual or emotional. I extend deepest sympathy to Kate Spade’s family.

11 thoughts on “With Deepest Sympathy On the News of Kate Spade

  1. So beautifully and thoughtfully written, Claire. Kate Spade’s daughter is so young, and she will miss her mother at every special moment when she should be at her side as will her husband and the rest of her family and personal friends.
    Before I learned this sad news. I’d been thinking how difficult it is to be in the public eye. Every aspect of your being is constantly scrutinized and evaluated according to “someone’s standards.” Who ever gives a thought to the person behind the name in lights? To the need for privacy, to feel badly once in a while, to need a true friend to share with, to be able to make a mistake, to have a moment of doubt without worrying about being trapped on film.
    Kate Spade built a phenomenal empire of things that people loved to own and use. But she wasn’t a business – she was a person, and hopefully people will now respect the privacy of her family to mourn privately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautiful, Sharon. Exactly the comment I was hoping to read. You’ve brought further insight and sensitivity to another angle of this, and I thank you. So much to think about and discuss here. This subject runs deep, and I think it’s testimony to the idea that no man is an island. There are issues of reflection at play here… As always, so glad to read ANYTHING from you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So beautifully expressed, Claire. I know first-hand how devastating it is to lose someone to suicide. I feel deeply for Kate Spade’s family, but I also understand she must have been in a place where suicide was her only option. No one chooses suicide, it chooses them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe you are right! I am also a member of the first-hand club. The act certainly leaves those left behind with an unending quandary. It forces us into a kind of listless acceptance because there really are no answers, don’t you think? Love your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Claire, although this post touches on a sad truth about suicide, it was a touching tribute to Kate Spade. Some say we should recognize the signs that a friend or relative is troubled, yet so many are going unnoticed. Only 2 days after Kate went Anthony Bourdain the same way, apparently, with no visible signs of his inner tortured soul by his friends or family (publicly anyway). Just a sad loss to the world. And it’s so like you to bring this matter to attention by way of your beautiful words. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, DG. Yes, Anthony Bourdain absolutely blindsided me. The world had yet to wrap its acceptance around the news of Kate Spade when the news of Bourdain came so close on its heels. A disillusioning state of affairs to say the least. Troubling as any suicide is to hear of, when two high-profile people, with all their assumed, attendant privileges the rest of us envy, take their own lives, it hits hard. What’s more, there are no answers beyond the strong-hold of complete despair, which, we know now, is indiscriminate. Thank you for weighing in. ALWAYS nice to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

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