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Coping With Suicide: Kate Spade’s Husband Speaks Up

Andy Spade, brother of comedian David Spade and widowed husband of the late fashion designer, Kate Spade, posted a moving message on his Instagram for his wife. The photo is a throwback of the couple’s now-teenage daughter, Frances, as a toddler.

“I will never forget the love Kate had for our beautiful, bright and charming Frances Bea. On the date of Katherine Noel Brosnahan Spades birthdate I hope that we can all be kind to one another and look for signs of private problems,” the caption reads.

Coping with a loved one’s passing is already unbelievably painful. Struggling with the fact that a loved one was driven to suicide by their mental illness only adds another layer of complexity to the grieving process.

When celebrities use their platform to speak out on the darkest, loneliest aspects of life, they help spread a necessary awareness about a unique type of pain.

Kate Spade’s Suicide

On June 5, 2018, Kate Spade was found dead by hanging. The tragedy occurred when Kate was just 55 years old.

Kate was born in Kansas City, MO, and earned her journalism degree from Arizona State University, where she met her husband Andy. In 1993, the couple worked together to launch a handbag company in their new home of New York City.

That company would go on to become Kate Spade New York, which the couple would sell to Liz Clairborne Inc. in 2006 for $124 million.

This Instagram post isn’t the first time Andy Spade has publicly spoken about his beloved wife’s suicide and the grieving process that goes along with it. After the death went public, Andy released a statement that touches on the hardship of mental illness:

“Kate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. She was actively seeking help and working closely with doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy…There were personal demons she was battling.”

Coping With a Loved One’s Depression

Andy Spade posted an Instagram photo of his daughter on December 24, which was Kate’s birthday.

The caption of the photo continues, “Some of us are too embarrassed or prideful to admit we have flaws. Please don’t hide from them. There is no shame in having flaws. I have many. As do some of my best friends, mentors and idols. We should take pride in admitting our humanity. Perfection isn’t the goal – honesty is.”

View this post on Instagram

I will never forget the love Kate had for our beautiful, bright and charming Frances Bea. On the date of Katherine Noel Brosnahan Spades birthdate I hope that we can all be kind to one another and look for signs of private problems. Some of us are too embarrassed or prideful to admit we have flaws. Please don’t hide from them. There is no shame in having flaws. I have many. As do some of my best friends, mentors and idols. We should take pride in admitting our humanity. Perfection isn’t the goal – honesty is. Please seek help if you are feeling helpless or lost. Ask friends and relatives if they are okay. This is truly important. Sometimes they won’t tell you how they are feeling but nudge them to find out. Happy holidays and best wishes to all. By the way, this is a picture of our daughter. The most special person on this planet I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. She will not like that I posted this but she may understand when she’s older. But probably not. Love to all. Andy

A post shared by Andrew Spade (@andyspade) on

“Please seek help if you are feeling helpless or lost. Ask friends and relatives if they are okay. This is truly important. Sometimes they won’t tell you how they are feeling but nudge them to find out,” Andy writes.

If you or a loved one is battling mental illness and suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline online, or call at 1-800-273-8255.

Catie Housman

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