One evening in March of 1941, author Virginia Woolf returned home soaking wet following what was later identified as a failed suicide attempt. Sadly, a few days later, on March 28th, she tried again, and this time succeeded in her efforts to escape a lifetime of mental illness. On the day of Virginia’s death, unaware of her whereabouts, her husband, Leonard, found the following heartbreaking letter on their mantelpiece.
Her body was found weeks later in the River Ouse, the pockets of her coat filled with heavy rocks.
Full transcript follows.
(Source: The Letters of Virginia Woolf)
I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t 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 don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.
I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.
Actual Letter of Virginia Woolf