Kate Spades Sister – Making Sense of ‘That’ Email

As a Suicide attempt and loss survivor, I understand the sisters words.  And in many ways her action of emailing the media.

Since losing my youngest son and child to Suicide in 2014, I have done nothing but research mental illness, health and Suicide as my second job.

I do recall telling my eldest son when the police were searching for Jaie, that if his little brother was serious about taking his own life, then until or unless Jaie accepted professional help, it was not an ‘if’ that he would kill him self. It was a when.

This is after working with various clients suffering from mental illness and having the opportunity to observe the difference between a client accepting help and one who refuses to and just thinks they can cope alone.

I also realised immediately, by what my eldest son was telling me, meant he was already starting to blame himself for what his little brother was about to do.

These comments are not made to remove hope. They are to create an environment of where people understand that research and education are invaluable to people helping loved ones through their struggles.

It tells survivors that their efforts to help are being recognised, but that there comes a time when the person who is unwell needs to step up and accept that they need to get professional assistance of some form.

I don’t understand why a family member speaking from a place of shock, loss and trauma would not be understood and recognised for their efforts to help their loved one.

The media are portraying this Suicide of Kate as a ‘shock’ and unexpected by everyone.

Well apologies dear media, but just because a person is famous, does not automatically give you rights to all of their personal issues and private struggles.

Kate’s sister is in shock.

She’s struggling to comprehend that her sister is deceased. She is struggling to understand why the media have to list who found Kate, where Kate was found and what method Kate used. She is trying to make some sense of an event which she had worked hard for years, to prevent.

So now, not only will Kate’s sister be overwhelmed with emotions of self-blame and guilt, the poor woman is now facing intense scrutiny from millions of strangers who will be making uneducated and judgmental statements about her immediate reaction in the face of immense shock, trauma and grief.

This poor sister is struggling to fathom that not only is her sister dead at her own hand, but the media is sharing every single detail of Kate’s death. The how, where and who found her.

The media should once again be the group being judged here, not a grieving family.

I now say to my eldest son, you did whatever was humanly possible with limited resources and experience with mental health skills.

Ask yourself, “Was there any malice in what you did? No there wasn’t because you know and I know that you would have taken a bullet to save your baby brother. There was no malice on your part.”

It appears now, that Kate’s sister is taking a rhetorical bullet for her sister, by sending out this email.

Kate Schuster from The Mighty also wrote and article on this email. The link is below.

https://themighty.com/2018/06/kate-spade-suicide-interview-sister/?utm_source=newsletter_digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_digest_2018-06-08

‘Sometimes Love Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

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So Called ‘Recovery’.

Since this horrific journey began, so many unknown elements are being exposed to me.

Elements that seemed so acceptable and ‘normal’ (most disliked word now).

I read so many lived experience blogs and medical articles, some times, it feels as if the top of my head will lift off.

Professionals and non-professionals speak of ‘recovery’ for those of us who suffer mental illness.

I beg to differ strongly in the description of our individual experiences.

For many suffering mental illness, there will never be ‘recovery’.

It’s time society stops making these naive and, at times, patronising assumptions and statements.

We need to start treating mental illnesses as a cancer of the soul and mind. Not as if it is some mystical, untouchable, imaginary condition.

Robin Williams (may he rest in peace), is a prime example of a person with ‘soul and mind cancer’ (aka: mental illness), utilising many different methods of therapy and treatments, throughout his life. All of which most definitely contributed towards his life being extended to 63 years of age. If he tried coping without professional intervention, the educated assumption would be that his life would have ended many, many years (possibly decades) earlier.

 

I know of many friends who have been on medication for a long time and will probably be on them for the rest of their lives. I’m coming up to 3 years on my medications. They are keeping me alive, no doubt about it. If I stop taking them, my chances of dying increase greatly.

Now if we had Cancer and were taking medication or attending treatments to help us fight to remain alive, we’d be looked at as battlers and heroes.

But those of us with mental illness are looked upon as ‘weak and naive’ because we take medications which help us with our respective illnesses.

Also, just as Cancer can go into remission, so to it appears can depression and other mental illnesses. The treatments worked to give the sufferer a time of respite.

Then later something may trigger the mental illness and the fight is back on for survival.

Society needs to stop placing unrealistic expectations on people with mental illness (severe or otherwise). We already struggle with our inner demons enough, without having society expecting us to one day, ‘simply get better’.

I’m in the process now, of accepting the fact that my mental illnesses will be my lifelong companions. And as such there will be days we get along well and other days we hate each other desperately.

But recovery is a false dream for many of us, so stop shoving it down our throats.

 

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

Purgatory is Real …

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I struggle at times to explain how the loss of my child has impacted me, until this week.

I was looking recently into signing a contract for something which spread over several years and in the back of my mind, all I could think was this;

“Oh no! I cannot live that much longer without one of my children!”

This threw me for several days, however I do know that other mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers and partners totally comprehend what I am saying/thinking.

Purgatory is what every parent lives through once they have lost a child. Every single day requires a conscious choice to not only survive, but to thrive. No easy task when a portion of your soul is no longer with you physically.

Purgatory is when you simply wish to sleep (so long as there are no nightmares) to escape the nightmare that your life has become.

Almost 3 years since Jaie died and I still say to people, “I just do not understand how we got here? How it all came to this?”

I force myself to not cry because it is almost impossible to stop once I start. I just wish to find a dark hole to crawl into, curl up and never come out.

Medication can only do so much and the rest is on ourselves. Therapy helps as well, but I am certain that if I ever let anyone into my mind, they would run screaming from me and never see me again.

I would no longer be allowed to walk within the community. But then again I see what our so called justice system allows to remain around our communities so maybe I would still be  able to remain mainstream?

‘Love Sometimes Comes Like a Dream & Leaves Like a Nightmare’

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Shedding My Skin

in a philosophical frame of mind. I hope this helps those struggling as we approach christmas ❤
Apologies for such a bleak status first thing in the morning, but this is how life has presented itself to me. And this is how I have continued to keep living and forging through the most difficult of times…

One realisation I had very early on, after Jaie died, is that I will never be the same person I was prior to his death (and neither will his sister, brother, fiancee and many others)…

When Jaie died (and in how he died), his death took from each of us a vital piece of ourselves, so we must now learn to live with this stranger in the mirror, which we have become…


Everyday is a learning experience as we try to get to know this stranger in the mirror. Everyday we attempt to get a grasp on how best to present this person, not only to the world, but to our own self…

This may sound a bit bizarre to the uninitiated, but trust me, it is a very real and ongoing battle. And not for all of the money or treasures in the world would you ever choose to be a part of this ‘club’…

I continue to fight so that others may be prevented from becoming a survivor of suicide. I continue to fight so that Jaie’s daughter can see, not only the damage done from her father’s death, but also the amazing courage that survivors have and how this courage may change the world in a positive manner, even just a tiny bit. I continue to fight so that I may lead by example for a small child who needs to know her father has not and did not, die in vain…

So I shall continue to shed my skin for however long I am alive, to enable myself to adjust to a world without our youngest (and most ratbag and engaging) boy. To inspire hope in my children and grandchildren that things can and will change for the better… To show them that death is not the end of everything and sometimes it may very well be a beginning (Not one we had hoped for but one we have had to make do with the best we can)…

So much love and strength to you all as we approach the Christmas period ❤

Love sometimes comes like a dream & leaves like a nightmare