June 11, 2018

Perhaps The Most Important Post I’ve Ever Shared

compassionI am reposting this article after the terrible news last week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both taking their lives. Please, please, please, if you are struggling and need help reach out to someone you love or call the Suicide Prevention Number at 800-273-8255 (in the US).

I received the terrible news that an entrepreneur I knew fairly well committed suicide last week. From all outside appearances, this person seemed to have a successful and thriving (not food) business, a loving wife, and adoring young kids. Everything seemed perfect and this news has rocked me to my core and left me wondering – why?

Obviously, no one can know what’s going on in another person’s life or in another person’s head and the fact that this amazingly intelligent person thought that suicide was the only option is heartbreaking.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last few days and have wondered if entrepreneurs – who throw everything, often both financially and emotionally, they have into their businesses – may be more susceptible especially if the business hits a challenge or fails.* Because in our American culture we are often judged as much, if not more, by what we do as opposed to who we are as people, it’s easy for our self worth to be tied up with our business. That means that when business prospects are good we feel our self worth rise. But when business is challenging, so too – in our minds – is our self worth.

I wish I could wrap this article up with a nice tidy bow. Perhaps ‘7 Steps To Make Things Right’? But that’s not going to happen because depression is a tangled and highly personal web. I will say this though, if you ever find yourself looking into an abyss that you can’t seem to find your way out of, please please ask for help. And if whomever you ask doesn’t help you then ask another person. You can always contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 if for whatever reason you don’t feel comfortable sharing your feelings with those closest to you.   Your creativity, your passion, and your energy are too good to be lost and there are people who care very deeply about you.

~Sending you love and light~


*Just to be clear, I have no insight into the financial health of this specific entrepreneur’s business and don’t want to insinuate that there may have been something wrong in the business that led to the suicide.

3 comments on “Perhaps The Most Important Post I’ve Ever Shared

  • Thembi on said:

    Very nice post. I’ve read entrepreneurship is a very lonely thing. I can attest to that. There are so many days that I wish I had a partner to share the burdens and successes with. Luckily I have friends and family who will listen to me vent and worry. But as the daughter of a counselor and patient, I’m a huge proponent of therapy for everyone; we can all use an unbiased ear.

  • Sarah on said:

    My sister died by suicide 7 months ago. It was an absolute shock to have someone so smart, beautiful, talented, and compassionate do something so abrupt and final without feeling like she could ask for help. Over 30,000 people in our country every year die by suicide. Thank you for shining a light on an often stigmatized issue.

    • Jennifer on said:

      I am so profoundly sorry to hear this and I can’t imagine what you and your family are feeling. My heart aches for you.