Famed fashion designer Kate Spade’s suicide sparked an outpouring of shocked, despairing posts on social media.  

Here was a 55-year-old woman who seemed to have it all—wealth, public acclaim, a husband and business partner, Andy Spade and their 13-year-old daughter, Frances Beatrix Spade.  

Yet she hanged herself in the bedroom of their Manhattan apartment. In her suicide note, the creator of the eponymous Kate Spade bag allegedly beseeched Frances not to feel responsible. 

A few minutes after the death went public, a good friend of mine wrote on her Facebook page: “Another lesson in being envious. I’m always envious of lives like these, 

thinking what I would do if I had that combination of time (Kate sold the company in 2007; in 2016 launching a new accessories line called Frances Valentine) and money to spare.” 

Although the tragedy seems shocking, it is more a reminder of how emotionally fragile human beings are, and that spectacular achievement and strong family ties are not guarantees of a charmed,  

happy life. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. On average there are 123 suicides a day,  

with a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finding that the suicide rate increased by 60% for white women in the period from 1998 to 2014.