Shocked by the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade on Tuesday, a Bay of Islands women used her own gift with words to express her sadness.
In a post on her Facebook wall, Heather Delaney wrote a note to Ms. Spade.
“I guess Kate Spade has always been associated with bright, fun, colourful, happy things and then when I found out that she had passed and further when I found out she had passed by suicide I just found it difficult to grasp,” said the Summerside woman.
“It saddened me because her brand, her products, they just bring so much happiness to so many people.”
Even though Ms. Spade had not been affiliated with the brand for a few years it still hosted her name.
To Delaney the impact Ms. Spade had was not just about the products she created, but the experience.
It’s the Kate Spade experience that Delaney was excited to share with her daughter, Elle Delaney, on a trip to Florida almost four years ago.
The mom of three decided she and her then six-year-old were going shopping for matching Kate Spade handbags at a Kate Spade store.
But that sweet little experience didn’t go the direction she thought it would.
Elle decide the handbags were not her style and instead chose a pair of black, furry earmuffs.
“That’s my Elle,” said Delaney.
While somewhat disappointed, Delaney did see the joy that purchase gave Elle and even those in the store that day as it had everyone smiling.
In a post that has since gone viral, and has been shared by FoxNews.com, USAToday.com and Babble.com, Delaney wrote:
“Kate, I’m sorry that we could not bottle that up for you. I’m sorry that we could not bottle up every grin, every laughter, every happy heart that walked through your stores. I’m sorry that we could not gather every smile that you put on a human’s face, whether it was because they just found the most loveliest brooch for their wedding day, the most exquisite pair of earrings to wear on their graduation day, or even the most coziest pair of earmuffs to wear around Florida (Yes. Again. Those earmuffs) — and lay those smiles in your lap.
“I’m just so sorry you were sad, while you made so many others happy. So incredibly happy.”
That Ms. Spade had a tormented heart breaks hers, wrote Delaney.
Delaney feels it’s great that Ms. Spade’s family has been open about her death and struggle with mental illness.
“But I just wish that we lived in a society that Kate Spade herself could have said many years ago that she had this struggle, and that she was sick, and that she was unwell and that she didn’t have any fears of coming forward with that.”
Delaney said Ms. Spade’s death has provided an opportunity to talk about mental illness.
“I feel like any education about mental health is good education and as long as we’re talking about it it’s being talked about.”
Elle still has the earmuffs and her mom has two Kate Spade handbags, which she plans to pass on to her.