By Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
Katherine Noel Valentine Brosnahan Spade (December 24, 1962 – June 5, 2018) was an American fashion designer and entrepreneur. She was the founder and former co-owner of the designer brand Kate Spade New York.
According to Celebrity Net worth website, Kate Spade was an American fashion designer who had a net worth of $200 million at the time of her death in 2018.
Apparently she had every thing. A good family, social and celebrity success, all the money you need, good physical health, beauty, leisure to enjoy all this. She did not find it enough.
On June 5, 2018, a housekeeper found Spade dead in her NYC apartment. Kate had reportedly hung herself with a scarf and left a note for her daughter. The following day, Andy released a statement about the tragic death of his wife, writing, “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 was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock.”
Two weeks after Kate’s death, Kate Spade New York pledged to donate $1 million to suicide prevention organizations, and the company later established a Mind, Body, Soul program for its employees all over the world.
May be there in lay the answer to the question that I pose. We all have a soul. Is it that our souls are in constant need of consolation through relationship with our Creator?
CNN shared the letter of her husband a few days after her tragic death. You can watch the video in CNN.
Let us move to the next celebrity who committed suicide at apparently peak of his career, Anthony Bourdain.
On his award-winning series, “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain brought the world home to CNN viewers. Through the simple act of sharing meals, he showcased both the extraordinary diversity of cultures and cuisines, yet how much we all have in common.
Tragically, he proved this again on Friday. Bourdain’s death shook television viewers around the world. The most common sentiment: “I feel like I’ve lost a friend.”
Bourdain was a larger-than-life figure – a gifted chef and storyteller who used his books and shows to explore culture, cuisine and the human condition.
“Tony was a symphony,” his friend and fellow chef Andrew Zimmern said Friday.
Bourdain married his high school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in 1985, and they remained together for two decades, divorcing in 2005. On April 20, 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, a mixed martial artist. The couple’s daughter, Ariane, was born in 2007. Bourdain said having to be away from his family for 250 days a year working on his television shows was a strain. Busia appeared in several episodes of No Reservations, notably the ones in her birthplace of Sardinia, Tuscany, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Naples. The couple separated in 2016. In 2017, Bourdain began a relationship with the Italian actress Asia Argento, whom he met when she appeared on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown.
Bourdain was known to be a heavy smoker.
Also a former user of cocaine, heroin, and LSD, Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential of his experience in a trendy SoHo restaurant in 1981, where he and his friends were often high. Bourdain said drugs influenced his decisions, and that he sent a busboy to Alphabet City to obtain cannabis, methaqualone, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, secobarbital, tuinal, amphetamine, codeine, and heroin.
In early June 2018, Bourdain was working on an episode of Parts Unknown in Strasbourg, with his frequent collaborator and friend Éric Ripert. On June 8, Ripert became worried when Bourdain had missed dinner and breakfast. He subsequently found Bourdain dead of an apparent suicide by hanging in his room at Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg near Colmar.
Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel, the public prosecutor for Colmar, said Bourdain’s body bore no signs of violence and the suicide appeared to be an impulsive act. Rocquigny du Fayel disclosed that Bourdain’s toxicology results were negative for narcotics, showing only a trace of a therapeutic non-narcotic medication. Bourdain’s body was cremated in France on June 13, 2018, and his ashes were returned to the United States two days later.
Why did Kate and Anthony commit suicide at the peak of their careers and apparently successful lives? A novice may answer that they were depressed. According to a recent BBC survey a billion people in the world are suffering from anxiety and depression and according to the WHO more than 700,000 people die of suicide every year.
The natural next question will be why were Kate and Anthony depressed?
The two celebrities discussed here are not the only ones whose suicide took the world by surprise. The commedian Robin Williams, who was for decades making us laugh, had earlier committed suicide in 2014.
There is a vacuum, a hole, a craving in their lives that nothing of this world seems to fill.
CS Lewis a famous Christian theologian, once observed:
If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.
Like the 12 steps of Alcoholic Anonymous want us to know that we need to believe in a force beyond and greater than us.
We are constantly in need and search of the God of the Abrahamic faiths.
The holy Quran states: “Allah did not create Jinn or Men but to worship Him.” (Al Quran 51:56) This means that He needs to be the most important being in our lives.
The distinguished psychiatrist, Dr. Carl Jung, who was a contemporary of Freud and is well known for several contributions in the field, says in the chapter, “Psychotherapists or clergy” of his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul:
During the past thirty years, people from all the civilized countries of the earth have consulted me. I have treated many hundreds of patients. … Among all my patients in the second half of life — to say, over thirty five — there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.
The famous psychiatrist declared in no uncertain terms that the origin of all psychiatric problems which include anxiety, depression and personality disorders lies in moving away from genuine Monotheism.
Alcoholics cannot be cured of their addiction without a Supreme Being in their lives and the anxious and depressed cannot be happy without the Invisible Force and all of us cannot be content and satisfied without God, Allah, Bhagwan or whatever name you call Him or Her.