This week has been… rough. For whatever reason, celebrity deaths in a general sense don’t usually hit me that hard because we aren’t personally acquainted; while I can recognize the grief in a celebrity passing, it doesn’t stay with me. But this recent string has. To have Kate Spade and then Anthony Bourdain die by suicide in the span of three days — with Queen Maxima’s young sister in between — really has been a bear to process. Kate Spade ht me hard, and then Bourdain this morning just took me out at the knees. I don’t know if it’s the circumstances themselves, or the loving tributes making clear what the world has lost… Regardless, it underscores what a gap there can be between what you think you know of a person, and what’s really happening in their heads and their hearts. And that’s scary, because what else might we be missing?
Jessica and I have talked a lot this year to each other about showing up — the simple act of being present for people — and I think checking in is just as crucial. When we ask people how they are, it is so easy to take a breezy “fine” at face value, or to give that “fine” because the alternative — the honesty — feels like too deep a dive at any given moment. We’ve learned a lot already this week about, essentially, how little we’d learned before when it comes to talking out this and reporting it. One notion that struck me in particular, articulated on Twitter, is that we can’t simply expect the people in our lives to reach out to us when they need help. That puts huge pressure on someone who is already struggling, and often, their affliction has chewed them up enough that it’s impossible for them to reach out that hand. They’re already drowning. Here is one of many sites that lists things to watch for in the people you love, so that maybe we can all try to meet our loved ones where they are and where and when they need us most.
So, let’s be there for each other today. Let’s show up and check in, about anything you like. It can be good news: Maybe you just need a place to talk up something happy that’s happening in your life, or to brag about your awesomeness. Or, if you’re blue, let it out. Maybe you’re having trouble with something. Maybe you need some unbiased advice from people who aren’t connected to your daily existence, because there’s something more freeing there. Maybe you just need to vent, or admit that you’re having a lousy day, or that you’re scared.
We said it on Twitter, but not all of you frequent it, so I’ll repeat: We love you guys. The world is better because you are in it. Please stay in it, and if you need people to listen, we’re here. Fug Nation Strong.