Written by Sabine Demosthenes

Learning the news of Kate Spade’s death was unexpected and so sad.

Her name has been part of my repertoire since my “not so glamorous” teenage years in the nineties and into my early twenties.

I was always curious about the next handbag she would create, even as the minimalist kind of girl that I am.

But yesterday, when I learned the sad news of her death, I was reminded of when one of my high school classmates decided to end her life her first year in college. This classmate had everything going for her: beauty, perfect body, great hair, a sweet boyfriend and the status of one of the popular girls in school. At the same time, she was sometimes moody and seemed so sad.

Everyday, I would walk to school and our paths would cross. We walked the last 2 min to school together. She could sense that I was shy to talk to her. I would always give her my biggest smile, but then look down and walk faster. She would acknowledge my smile and my shyness.

There is not a day I don’t think of why I didn’t made the first step to being her friend.

She was my aunt’s neighbour. I still remember that dreadful February night when she called my home to talk to my mom who later told me that a young girl had died. She didn’t know I went to school with her.

By the time my mom was about to tell me the news, my best friend from high school had sent me an MSN message (yes, it was before Facebook messenger and texting).

I went to my room and picked up my high school yearbook, turning straight to the page her picture was on. I was numb. I cried.

I couldn’t go to the funeral because I felt so guilty about not reaching out to her. And I managed, with time, to face it but let me tell you, I struggled a lot afterwards.

Yesterday was a sad day.

But suicide is happening everyday. When someone is famous, we tend to be more aware because it is broadcasted across every form of media. But I would like to say, out loud, my thoughts about a specific thing I saw that made me so mad.

Why are outlets like TMZ, etc. are taking pictures of the body on a stretcher leaving the apartment building?!

I really get super mad about seeing a picture like this (by accident) because it is on the front page. Like when my classmate died, the local newspaper didn’t send a photographer to take a picture and put it on our Wednesday issue.

You get my point.

It’s a painful moment for the family and friends and everywhere you will go, this picture will be on every news outlet, tabloid and so on. It’s so awful and such a lack of respect.

For the young girl that lost her dear mom, for the husband that lost his wife and the mother of his child, to her family and to her friends, my thoughts are with you.

And to the tabloids, get the hell out and show some respect. Damn it!

In a way, she is still bringing lights into our life and she is forcing us having this really difficult conversations about depression and anxiety. Maybe this tragedy will save more lives.

For anyone that is struggling, please, please, please, we are here for you and there are some incredible organizations that are here for you. You are not alone.

We are not alone.

http://www.depressionarmy.com

https://www.nami.org

https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

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