Virginia Woolf Suicide Notes

Dated Tuesday, March 18th of 1941:

I feel certain that I am going
mad again: I feel we cant go
through another of these terrible times.
And I shant recover this time. I begin
to hear voices, and cant concentrate.
So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have
given me
the greatest possible happiness. You
have been in every way all that anyone
could be. I dont think two
people could have been happier till
this terrible disease came. I cant
fight it any longer, I know that I am
spoiling your life, that without me you
could work. And you will I know.
You see I cant even write this properly. I
cant read. What I want to say is that
I owe all the happiness of my life to you.
You have been entirely patient with me &
incredibly good. I want to say that -
everybody knows it. If anybody could [new page]
have saved me it would have been you.
Everything has gone from me but the
certainty of your goodness. I
cant go on spoiling your life any longer. I dont think two
could have been happier than we have been.

Dated Friday, March 28th of 1941:

I want to tell you that you have
given me complete happiness. No one
could have done more than you have done.
Please believe that.
But I know that I shall never get over
this: & am wasting your life. It is this madness.
Nothing anyone says can persuade me.
You can work, & you will be much
better without me. You see I cant
write this even, which shows I am right.
All I want to say is that until this
disease came on we were perfectly
happy. It was all due to you.
No one could have been so good as
you have been. From the very
first day till now.
[she added with fresh ink]: Everyone knows that.

[Turning the page, she wrote on the left-hand side]:

You will find Roger's letters to the Maurons in the
writing table drawer in the Lodge. Will
you destroy all my papers.

Random Musing
Virginia Woolf died on March 28, 1941. She filled her overcoat pockets with rocks and drowned herself in the River Ouse. She was 59 years old.

Both of the above notes were addressed to her husband Leonard Woolf. I'm not entirely sure why there are two different notes. The best I can come up with is that she was planning on killing herself on the 18th, but was somehow kept from doing so until the 28th when she felt that she should leave a more up to date note for her husband.

I find the notes incredibly touching, and they're even just interesting from a literary standpoint - the verse form really adding to their impact somehow.

One Comment

  1. One of my favorite posts on here so far.


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