A Reflection After the Deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain

Silhouette of hands and the horizonby Rachel LaBrie

Recently, we all got the news that both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain died by suicide.

I feel a certain emptiness right now. But I also feel like I would like to speak more about my experience with suicide and spread a message.

I lost my best friend to suicide. She was the kindest, gentlest person you could ever meet. I remember the day she died, it felt like there was a black hole encapsulating me. I could barely talk, my tears would not stop. How could they? Losing her was like losing a part of myself.

In my lifetime, especially after losing my best friend, I contemplated suicide. A lot. It’s all I could think about. But for some reason, I knew my friend would be heartbroken for me to be with her so soon. I knew she needed me to carry on her legacy. So I did.

I became a peer. I became a voice for those who found it hard to speak. So here is a message I want everyone who reads this to remember.

It is not as easy as saying “reach out for help if you need it.” Sometimes, depression makes you isolated. It makes you disappear into the background, fall to the ground, and you feel you cannot get up. In my experience, in times like that, I needed someone to reach out to me, because I was incapable, or at least I thought I was incapable, of reaching out.

Ask a friend today how they are feeling. If they say “fine” or “okay” try and find out the truth behind those words. Sometimes the saddest of hearts hide behind a smile and “I’m fine” passing through their mouth. Sometimes, they need you to show you truly are reading the messages they need you to hear.

Rest in Peace, Anthony and Kate. Your legacies will carry on forever. Thank you for all you have done.

Rachel LaBrie is a young adult who has a passion for advocacy. They are currently working on writing a book of poetry about mental health.