Currently, our minds are focused on the suicides committed by both Kate Spate (fashion designer) and Anthony Bourdain (food connoisseur). Their tragic deaths have sparked an international discussion on mental health, depression and suicide. Both deaths shocked the world, as Spade and Bourdain represented highly successful individuals: wealthy, business oriented, driven, and passionate.
However, underneath their sunny smiles and alluring charm both fell victim to their own despair and found solace in the act of death. Andrew Solomon of The New Yorker, defines suicide as "despair, hopelessness, the feeling of being a burden on others" and cites the twin causes "it can be fed by mental illness or by life circumstances". Thus, suicide as a 'feeling of' stems not only from a mental illness but life's habit of screwing with us.
So, where does OUR conversations about suicide leaves us. How do we process the act of suicide with the reality that suicide can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone and possibly to ___?
I think we should turn to EMPATHY, YOUR willingness to understand and acknowledge another person's suffering by stepping into their shoes.
Personally, I do not know How someone could take their own life. BUT I think I understand WHY. I believe LIFE presents many challenges both evil and self-satisfying. However, people live in their own prisons of agony. As such, they desire to reach beyond their darkness and grasp life in death. Some people may consider this a selfish, sinful act. BUT the person in despair sees it as their FREEDOM OR WAY OUT OF THEIR PERSONAL HELL.
To understand WHY Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain committed to death YOU Should ENGAGE YOUR EMPATHY. YOU should Step away from reflecting on their successful lives. YOU should Stop agreeing with folks who comment gleefully that money or success does not make a person happy (in my case I roll my damn eyes).
Instead, YOU should consider stepping into the individual's shoes. YOU should ENGAGE YOUR EMPATHY or CONSIDER the individual experiencing their agony of hopelessness in isolation. That person may FEEL that their FREEDOM is connected to DEATH. Suicide, in my opinion, is a very personal choice based on an inner feeling that I cannot shake my inner doom.
In other words, Understand their side before YOU engage in discussions about what they did and why.
ENGAGE YOUR EMPATHY.
As the brother in this piece of fluffy writing my sister does, I have no comment and rest my case.