post by Stephanie Nelson
As news broke yesterday of Kate Spade’s death, I found myself, like many others, mired in questions: Why? How could one of my idols have gotten to this point? She had the means that most of us don’t to pay for the fix to most any problem (or at least we assume she did), so why didn’t she use them?
Let me take a step back for a moment and give a glimpse into my Kate Spade obsession. An article on Refinery 29 summed up the general feeling, but this is my particular experience. Early in my career, the Kate Spade brand was growing. It was becoming THE status symbol for ladies around my age. When I got my first bonus in one of my past lives, that’s what I spent it on, a real Kate Spade bag. That bag, that brand, and it’s namesake, embodied everything I wanted to be…or at least project that I was: pulled together, successful, fun, and maybe even a little quirky.
Once I struck out on my own, that need I felt to appear to embody all those things grew. I wanted so bad for it to look like SBN Marketing was raking in the dough! So I found ways to wrap myself in Kate Spade items even on a smaller-than-small-startup income. Jewelry on sale on the website? Get it!Perfume sale at Ulta? Buy some Kate Spade fragrances! That two seasons old dress on sale at the outlet? Buy it! The cell phone case? That’s a write-off because it protects my work equipment. Gimme two!
Looking back, I see that Kate Spade herself may have been doing just what I was doing – painting a picture on the outside that didn’t 100% match reality. And that has me feeling a lot of things this morning. I’m sad that someone who by all outward appearances had it all was in such pain and saw no other way out. I’m sad for her family and loved ones that they’ve been left with this. I’ve had several loved ones die by suicide, and there’s a pain there that no other type of death leaves you with. I’m disappointed that somebody I viewed as strong and empowered and successful chose this “solution” to her problems. There’s still so much more going on in my head and my heart that I haven’t figured out how to put into words yet.
If you or someone you know needs help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline operates 24/7. You can call them at 1-800-273-8255 or chat with them online, or you can use their vast list of resources. I encourage those who need help to seek it.