The tragic suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

I just dropped my kids off at school. I swear, I literally just dropped them off at school, and said to myself, “When I get back, I need to write a blog entry about Kate Spade’s suicide.”

I sit down at my computer. I open the internet. And I see this: Anthony Bourdain, CNN host of “Parts Unknown,” killed himself in Paris. He was 61.

I wish I had the adequate words right now to express how I feel. More life lost to an illness that continues to haunt us, and one that far too many cannot fully understand.

A few points, I suppose, as I try to gather my thoughts.

  • If you need help, there are so many resources available to you. Call a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a loved one. And never, ever hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
  • Suicide knows no limits. No boundaries. It doesn’t care who you are or how successful you may be. People like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain seemed to have it all – money, fame, family. They seemed to have access to everything most of us could ever dream of. But the tragic truth is that none of that means a damn thing if you are in pain. The mind and the heart are disconnected from reality in the case of mental illness. That makes their suicide’s all the more shocking and painful to us all.
  • Please, please, watch how you discuss suicide. Avoid phrased like “committed suicide” or “completed suicide” – try to use “killed himself/herself” or “died by suicide.” For my friends in the media, here are some excellent recommendations.
  • The suicide contagion effect is real: A prominent suicide will often serve as a trigger for more, particularly within similar demographic groups. Please, watch your friends.

All of us have a responsibility to watch for each other – to care for each other. If you know someone who is in pain, care for them. Call them. Tell them you love them. The only way any of us survive us with each other. A mere phone has the potential to save a life.

Take care of each other. Today and all days.

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