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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 142 - Overboard

11 Jun 2018

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, three friends contacted me about tragic news.  Fashion designer, Kate Spade, had taken her own life.  These friends likely remembered my stories about my missing Kate Spade purse (which I eventually found) and my bangles.  I've also gone shopping with two of those friends at some of the six Kate Spade retail stores in Toronto and the GTA.  I know where all the stores are located!

For many people, including myself, walking into a Kate Spade store was definitely not a black and white experience.  If you are looking for a black or white handbag or wallet, you would not start at at Kate Spade store.  Ironically, one of my friends did find a black tote bag at a Kate Spade outlet and I think she lucked out!  Most people would associate Kate Spade with fun and bright colours. 

Days after Kate Spade's suicide, more news revealed that she had been dealing with years of depression.  We learned from family members that she was estranged from her husband, Andy Spade, and that she was obsessed about the suicide of Robin Williams and supposedly hung herself in the same way.  One of the reasons she did not seek further help for mental health illness was because she did not want to tarnish the Kate Spade brand - being happy and fun. 

One of my friends mentioned that KaTsZoNe was my brand!  She's right!  I did treat it that way.  I pay money for this website so that no one else can claim www.katszone.com.  I wanted KaTsZoNe to be about me as I shared my experiences, beliefs, and positive messages.  But, like Kate Spade, I have also kept a few things to myself because I did not want to tarnish my brand.  In spite of her fame and success, Kate had secrets she could not share. 

Today, I want to share with all of you that I have had struggles, sadness, anxiety attacks, and disappointments, in the past couple decades.  Since my father passed away in November, 2000, I felt as though my life was in turmoil more than in previous years.  Then, in September 2013 when my mom passed away, I went through another round of sadness and other issues.  KaTsZoNe began in December, 2004 not only to keep in touch with my friends, but, it became an outlet for me.  You all became my sounding board oftentimes.  It may not have seemed like therapy sessions to you, but, I thought of it as a group session, because I knew that you, as well, may have been going through some rough patches in life.  I had hoped that we could all share our experiences -- me, in public, and you, by telling me with personal emails, texts or in person.  Sometimes, I felt like discontinuing the blogging.  And then, I feel like writing again.  Then you know, everything's going to be alright.  When we say, "No news is good news", that would not apply in my case.   

This issue of KaTsZoNe is called "Overboard" because it is inscribed in a gold plated Kate Spade bangle which has anchors all around.  I bought the bangle last year.  It reminded me of my dad who was a sea captain and ship pilot.  The marine them made me feel happy, as I remember the happy days when my dad was still alive.  When I was a child, my mom and I went on trips with him on board his ships.  But, it also reminded me that I have gone Overboard at times, especially since he passed away - which I laugh about sometimes.  I use to ask myself, why do I have to go so extreme at times?  Why can't I eat just a little bit of tiramisu or ice cream -- I want the whole big dessert?  That's probably why I am still diabetic!  Why can't I stick to donating $5 or $10?  Why do I go overboard in giving?  Well, needless to say, this Kate Spade bangle describes me for sure! 

I don't think going Overboard has to be all bad.  I think it's okay to go Overboard in some cases.  I posted something on Facebook written by Amy Gallimore recently and it was about Robin Williams, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.  People in their lives thought they were happy and cheerful.  Anthony Bourdain's best friend thought Anthony loved life.  Amy Gallimore had this message:  you need to check on those who seem the strongest.  Believe me, many of us know how to fake it.  After posting my message, several friends checked up on me.  So, one thing I do appreciate is that, my friends and family read my Facebook posts!  The other thing I know is that it's okay to go Overboard sometimes, to show you care about people in your life - including your family and friends.   

In the coming weeks or months, let me know if you do go Overboard.  You could save someone's life.  You could brighten up someone's day. You could make a big difference telling someone you love him/her.  I challenge and dare you to Go Overboard!

I am so tempted to take the summer off of writing.  So, if I miss the next episode of KaTsZoNe which should be the August/September, 2018 issue, don't be alarmed.  Larry and I usually go away in August, so, I'll see if there's anything I really want to tell you all about, if I can't wait. 

Hope you will all enjoy the summer!  Keep in touch.

Take care,


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