Kate Spade: Shatter the Stigma

 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHARLES SYKES/REX/Shutterstock (418367e) KATE SPADE CFDA FASHION AWARDS, NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, AMERICA - 02 JUN 2003
Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHARLES SYKES/REX/Shutterstock (418367e)
KATE SPADE
CFDA FASHION AWARDS, NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, AMERICA – 02 JUN 2003

You have probably heard the news that successful Fashion Designer Kate Spade, age 55, was found dead in her New York apartment two days after she died by her housekeeper in Kate’s New York apartment. Social media has blown up with the news.

It is so awful. My husband Ray always says I have a morbid fascination with celebrities, movie stars, and musicians who have lives riddled with marriage problems, divorce, financial crises, and/or sudden deaths.

I’ve always puzzled over the fact that they finally achieve what represents to so many people SUCCESS (wealth and fame), and yet they live such unhappy lives or die unexpectedly and/or tragically.

And yet stylist Phillip Bloch says, “You can have all the success and it can look so great but you still feel like a failure.”

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: Designers Andy Spade and Kate Spade attend AOL Build Series to discuss their latest project Frances Valentine at Build Studio on April 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 28: Designers Andy Spade and Kate Spade attend AOL Build Series to discuss their latest project Frances Valentine at Build Studio on April 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)

Kate Spade and her husband Andy Spade built a multi-million dollar empire with their handbag company Kate Spade. They made a great team and apparently loved each other very much. They were devoted to the care of their daughter. In 2016 Kate returned after a decade long hiaitus to launch Frances Valentine, an accessories line named after her daughter Frances Beatrix (“Bea”) and changed her name to Kate Valentine.

At the time of her death, she and Andy were separated, although they denied they were divorcing–just taking a “break.” I’ve watched interviews of them together and am impressed with their obvious love for one another and through working together, they built a very successful, blessed business.

Their 13 year old daughter Bea lived with them both. Although reports conflict, Kate allegedly left a note, letting her daughter know that it was not her fault. Many survivors of suicide loss often blame themselves. 

Kate Spade, NY fashion designer
Kate Spade, NY fashion designer

Kate was apparently very loved by family, friends, and business peers. A renown fashion publicist who knew Kate, Kelly Cutrone, allegedly burst out crying when hearing the news of her death and said, “She’s the female version of Ralph Lauren. The industry is endemic with suicide, bankruptcy, depression, and addiction. A lot of people in the fashion industry are having a hard time. It’s proportionally high. The real issue is why are so many creatives alone.”

This really struck me. Reports are that Andy Spade said that their family was shocked and devastated by Kate’s death, and that there was no indication and they had no “warning” from her that this would happen. Although she had been struggling with depression and anxiety for about six years, was under a doctor’s care and on medication (some reports are that she may have had bipolar disorder), Kate was trying to heal. “There were personal demons she was battling,” her husband Andy said.

As an interesting note, Kate was originally from the Kansas City area, where I live. So many beautiful, brilliant, creative people have lived or are in the world today, but struggle with severe depression and some even take their own lives. In fact, suicide rates are going up in America. Women who are Kate’s age (middle age) have the highest suicide rate among women. 

Kate Spade
Kate Spade

What is worst is that there is a stigma to mental illness and mental disorders. We need to shatter the stigma. As compassionate people, especially as Christian believers, we need to reach out to the hurting.

Ask him or her if they are depressed, anxious, and/or have thought about suicide. Many people think if you ask that the person will then try to commit suicide. That isn’t the case. It may very well save his or her life!

Talk with your loved one. Above all, listen. Don’t leave him or her alone if this person is severely depressed and/or suicidal. Get help for them with a pastor, therapist, or doctor. Remove any dangerous possible weapons such as firearms, knives, or razors, or medications that they can use to overdose.

Kate- happy
Kate -appearing happy

Sometimes no matter how much you try to help, someone will still commit suicide. Kate’s husband and her father allegedly had talked to her before she committed suicide, and did not suspect she’d do this. In fact, she appeared happy and to be making plans to travel on a trip. You can not blame yourself!

For those who are depressed and/or suicidal, please ask for help. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. 

Please find a family member, friend, coworker, pastor, counselor, therapist, or doctor and share your feelings and thoughts. Let them know that you are depressed, anxious, and/or suicidal. You are not alone and you are loved! And above all, remember that God loves you and is your Healer and Deliverer, as He is mine! I am living proof that Jesus heals and sets the captives free!

The National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

Kate is giving a tour of her artsy creative apartment here. She and the apartment are so beautiful. I smiled and was so touched at how she proudly displayed her daughter’s art on the walls, alongside the other famous art pieces! I love what one of her friends said about Kate, that she brought beauty to the world. I believe that it was her gift from God. 

You can listen to my podcast about Kate and 5 tips to overcome depression here.

#suicide #mentalhealthawareness #katespade

my memoir

*******I share the painful journey of walking through my own dark valley of suicidal depression and attempts, anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, crying jags, fears, and about my childhood sexual and physical abuse, illicit affairs, and 3 abortions in my memoir. I write about Jesus’ healing and delivering power in this book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love. It is available for sale at Amazon here.

 

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Jennifer and Robin: Everyone is fighting a battle

Jennifer Huston’s and Robin William’s recent tragic suicides have created a lot of buzz over the topics of suicide, mental illness, Christians, and heaven/hell. Both apparently hanged themselves. 

Ann Voskamp wrote a beautiful piece at Holy Experience, What the Church and Christians Need To Know About Mental Health. My friend Angie Kay Webb wrote about her family’s suicide/murder and about Robin’s death and about his beloved role in the TV series Mork and Mindy at her blog

Our daughter Heather’s Facebook post on Robin Williams’ suicide caused a little controversy, with comments ranging from no one knowing if Robin was saved to a commenter believing that Heather was being insensitive about people who are depressed -~even Christians can be depressed and/or suicidal.

Our daughter Heather's Facebook post on Robin Williams' suicide caused a little controversy
Our daughter Heather’s Facebook post on Robin Williams’ suicide caused a little controversy

It is true that no one knows if Robin was saved or not. Only God knows his heart. Throughout his successful career, as many celebrities do, he struggled with alcoholism/substance abuse, with 2 rehab stints. He joked that cocaine was God’s way of telling you that you have too much money. At the time of his death, his wife said he was clean and sober.  She said that Robin was in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease, which may have been a factor in his decision to die by suicide.

It is true that even Christians can become depressed, even suicidal.

It isn’t true that Heather was being insensitive in her Facebook post. She has seen depression first-hand. Heather isn’t ignorant about this topic. For most of her childhood, I was severely depressed from my childhood sexual and physical abuse and other traumatic life events, diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Episode, and Anxiety Disorder. 

Beth Jones, International Speaker
Beth Jones, International Speaker

I share openly about my arduous, long journey to healing through faith in Christ in my new book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love.

I’m a very different woman today from the woman I was when Heather was growing up and I married Ray 22 years ago. God has done amazing, miraculous healing in my life and I give Jesus Christ all the credit and the glory for that. My life is proof that God can and does heal today. 

Jesus is the answer to everything in this life. Including depression. He is the only answer for those who are wanting to commit suicide, believing their life has no purpose and there’s no reason to go on.

Sometimes healing from depression takes time. And/or medication. Sometimes it takes a trial of medications to find the right one to help.  Sometimes people have chemical and/or hormonal imbalances.

 Sometimes it takes intensive counseling or hospital inpatient therapy.

I am not in the camp who believes that using doctors or medication always shows a “lack of faith.” My contributing author Stephanie Buckwalter wrote about facing others’ judgment when she struggled with depression, in my book The Hands of A Woman: Everyday Women in Everyday Battles

Yes, I do believe that many doctors in the U.S. over-medicate their patients and that medications can be dangerous, toxic, and addictive. 

 

Promises In The Dark: One Woman's Search for Authentic Love
Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search
for Authentic Love by Beth Jones

To learn more about the risks of medications, I highly recommend my friend Dana Arcuri’s memoir, Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity in which she shares her harrowing roller coaster ride with toxic prescription pill interactions), as well as my own book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love.

However, God can and does use medication. He knows exactly what it takes to heal each one. Healing can come in a variety of ways.

Sometimes people who suffer with severe depression need spiritual deliverance because they are being oppressed by the enemy Satan.

 God isn’t boxed in with the way He heals people. In the Scriptures, Jesus didn’t use the same cookie cutter approach for healing different ailments.

And not everyone was healed. But ultimately, He is Jehovah Rophe, the Healer.

Apparently Jennifer and Robin were in such intense pain and felt like they didn’t want to go on any more. Apparently they didn’t believe there was anyone they could turn to for help before they died. 

I wish they had felt like they could come to Jesus for the help, strength and encouragement they needed and would have lived out their days in fullness and in joy.

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.”  ~ Acts 17:28, NIV

We don’t know what demons Jennifer or Robin were facing. We don’t know why they felt so overwhelmed, and that death was a preferred alternative to living any longer. It is so sad. Both their spouses and children said they were devastated. The world has lost 2 precious people. 

Jennifer’s parents’ public statement said, “Our hearts ache today. We have lost our first born child. We have lost a wife and a mother. We don’t know what lead Jennifer to this dark place and to this end and perhaps never will understand this.”

Robin’s wife Susan said, “Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day.” (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/robin-williams-dead-63-family-members-issue-heartfelt-remembrances-article-1.1901466)

What we do know is that, like Jennifer and Robin, there’s a lot of hurting people in the world. Sometimes that hurt is hidden behind a smile or a laugh or a seemingly perfect image.  

We never know what pain someone is going through. But today you can truly be Jesus’ heart, arms, ears, and feet to that person who is hurting.

Be kind. Love others. Ask if your family, friend, work peer, or neighbor is okay. Pray for him or her. Everyone is fighting a battle of some kind. 

Be kind for everyone is fighting a battle. Image Resource: Pinterest
Image resource: Pinterest

 

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32

For help: National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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