Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Good Suicide Notes

Well, "good" isn't exactly what I mean but at least striking. The top one is Virginia Woolf's to her husband (and kind of an asshole) Leonard Woolf. She committed suicide on March 28th, 1941. After writing the note, Then she drowned herself in the Ouse River in Sussex.

Dearest, 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.


The second one, written on August 24th, 1954 is from Brazilian President Getulio Vargas who shot himself through the heart. His suicide note, known as Carta Testamento is, according to Wikipedia (which is always right, duh) one of the "defining documents of 20th century Brazilian history." Vargas, a rather right-wing figure, was in the throes of being deposed by the Army. Here's the best excerpt:

Each drop of my blood will be an immortal flame in your conscience and will uphold the sacred will to resist. To hatred I reply with pardon, and to those who think they have defeated me, I reply with my victory. I was a slave to the Brazilian people, and today I am freeing myself for eternal life. But this people, whose slave I was, will no longer be slave to anyone. My sacrifice will remain forever in their souls and my blood will be the price of their ransom. I fought against the exploitation of Brazil. I fought against the exploitation of her people. I have fought with my whole heart. Hatred, infamy and slander have not conquered my spirit. I have given you my life. Now I offer you my death. I fear nothing. Serenely I take my first step towards eternity and leave life to enter history.