Remembering Today: Virginia Woolf
On this day in March 1941, Virginia Woolf filled her coat pockets with stones and walked into the River Ouse, drowning herself. Many a writer has suffered from set backs, personal and professional loss, attacks from critics, but Virginia Woolf was one who couldn’t shrug it off anymore.
I would hope that were she our contemporary, she would be able to get the help she needed with her severe depression. How can we as writers live with rejection and depression, and find the happiness and success we crave? It seems almost fleeting when it does come, and then we must keep going, keep producing, wearing our hearts on our sleeves. My friends, if you find yourself being worn down by life, please seek some help and unburden yourself. Nothing is worth leaving our loved ones behind to deal with this kind of leaving.
“Dearest, 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 ’til 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. V.”
Such a heartbreaking thing to leave behind. Suicide is a selfish act, but she seemed to rationalize that her husband’s life would be better off with out her. Such is the mind of a suicide. Rest in peace, Virginia Woolf.