Seventy years ago yesterday, literary icon Virginia Woolf wrote two suicide notes. One was addressed to her sister and the other was addressed to her husband — who was in his study nearby. She then put on her Wellington boots, filled the pockets of her fur coat with rocks, and walked out into the middle of the River Ouse in England.
Her body wasn’t found until three weeks later, at which point her husband had her cremated and buried beneath a tree on their property. To commemorate her, he engraved a stone with the last lines from one of her novels: “Against you I fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! The waves broke on the shore.”
I feel certain 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.