A Gnawing Pain That Takes No Rest

The hardest note to write is a hardship for friends and loved ones to read. Whether the words speak of peace, the subsequent act is a declaration of war: a war by the mind against the body, until the two are no more; until what was dead mentally is the same physically; until what was too painful to endure is no longer that person’s burden to bear; until what was too sad to sustain is now a sorrowful end to personal sadness; until what was too insufferable to continue is now the ultimate cessation of suffering—the suicide of a fellow human being.

The suicide of Kate Spade is a shock to many, but it is not shocking to anyone who has ever considered committing suicide. That is why an agony too inarticulable to describe, and an ache too indescribable to articulate, does not translate into a note.

The person who writes that note is not of sound mind, regardless of how lucid she sounds or how rational he claims to be. Do not judge a fancy prose style for a fanciful personality, not when no words can express what no person (understandably) wants to say; that she feels too depressed to live; that he feels too numb to feel love; that neither the brightness of the sun, nor the promise of deliverance to broad, sunlit uplands, is enough to stop the daily nightmare of life.

Do not judge this person, period. Not when the act is irrational. Not when what is explicable after the fact was an inexplicable feeling of terror before the final act. Not when the mind is too defiant to define and too mysterious to master.

Think of the friend who is sedate but not serene; who is quiet but unable to quiet her mind; who is responsible but unresponsive to queries from his friends; who is a friend in need but afraid of seeming needy.

Do not ponder the imponderable when you can save someone’s life instead.

About Ashley Hamilton

Ashley Hamilton is an artist and father, who lives in Malibu and seeks to express the truth through his work.

Photo: NEW YORK - JUNE 7: Designer Kate Spade attends the "2004 CFDA Fashion Awards" at the New York Public Library June 7, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

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