Last week was a tough one for many throughout our nation.

Last Tuesday, June 5, popular purse and handbag designer Kate Spade abruptly took her life in a shocking suicide. Three days later notorious traveler and chef Anthony Bourdain followed Spade's by ending his own life at the age of 61.

Spade and Bourdain's deaths obviously shook many of their following and even those who did not really keep up these two and their success, like myself. I'm a male. My need for a Kate Spade purse or wallet was nonexistent and as for Bourdain, if I were to turn on my television it would be for a ballgame or something of that nature more than a show like his that allows viewers to get a glimpse into his life.

What their deaths did for me was bring several things into perspective. According to a report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have risen 28 percent from 1999 to 2016. Death by suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States of America.

Obviously, it is an issue.

Spade and Bourdain's deaths did not spark the problem. It has been a reoccurring theme year after year. Their deaths only shed more light on the problem because of their social standing within our world. And that's fine. I've seen numerous complaints in the comment sections of Facebook and Twitter noting their displeasure with the people who have seemed to take a caring into the mental health issues of those who take their own lives, especially celebrities. I understand it. I really do. But at the same time, I do not have to take these two tragedies and degrade the significance of what occurred last week.

Two celebrities. Two people, who society says that because they have money, really big houses, nice cars and more, should be completely happy with their lives. Those two were the ones who made headlines with their sorrowful deaths. Each one had family members who spoke out in shock and disbelief of what had happened because they did not notice a change in behavior or anything that would lead them to believe that suicide was imminent. So what was it that drove these two people to their breaking point? I don't know. I don't think anyone ever will truly know. Unfortunately for them, if someone did know, it's too late to do anything about it.

So what is the point of writing all of this? My point is simply to not let a day go by where you are not checking on someone. Whether they seem like they have it all together or not, whoever it might be may need to hear the comforting advice from a friend or family member.

Suicide is a real problem. It has transpired too close to home on many occasions.

Luckily, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home that brought me up in church and I decided on my own to serve the Lord, knowing that He will give me peace that passes all understanding. My duty as a Christian is to hopefully lead as many people to God as possible in hopes that they find that same joy and peace that only He can give.

That is my job as a Christian. But as I've encountered before, not everyone is receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But it is still an obligation to me that I spread love to everyone despite their beliefs, religion, sexuality, race or nationality regardless if we see eye-to-eye on certain issues. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes Chapter 9 and Verse 4 that where there is life there hope. Do not let anybody that you see on a daily basis lose sight of that hope. Spade, Bourdain and thousands of others lost sight of hope and they are no longer with us. Hope will drive people to keep striving and will offer people more time to reach whatever it is that they are trying to obtain.

dillon.barnes@journalinc.com

Twitter: @SS_Sports_

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