Suicide notes

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A suicide note is a document written by a person preparing to commit suicide, often to explain the reasons for this act and to say goodbye to loved ones, although sometimes simply as a means to make an additional statement. A suicide note typically relays the last words of its author, although in several instances the author survives the attempt, or at least survives long enough to utter some additional "last words".

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  • I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.
    • Who: Kurt Cobain (last lines of his April 5, 1994 suicide note), lead singer for American grunge band Nirvana, referencing a song by Neil Young; reported in Scott Stanton, The Tombstone Tourist: Musicians (2003), p. 48.
  • To my friends: My work is done. Why wait?
    • Who: George Eastman, Inventor (in his March 14, 1932 suicide note), reported in Harvard Business Review (2001), Volume 79, p. 78.
  • Things just went wrong too many times.
    • Who: Tony Hancock (in his June 25, 1968 suicide note), reported in Michael Heatley, Manic Street Preachers: In Their Own Words (2012), p. 49.
  • All fled – all done, so lift me on the pyre;
    The feast is over, and the lamps expire.
    • Robert E. Howard (June 11, 1936), writer, reported in Kristine Bertini, Understanding and Preventing Suicide: The Development of of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them (2009), p. 134.
  • I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity.
    • Who: Jerzy Kosinski, Polish-American novelist, reported in Jim Glendinning, Footloose Scot: Travels in a Time of Change (2012), p. 193.
  • Excuse all the blood, but I have slit my wrists and neck. It was the intention that I would die in the woods so that it would take a few days before I was possibly found. I belong in the woods and have always done so. No one will understand the reason for this anyway. To give some semblance of an explanation I'm not a human, this is just a dream and soon I will awake. It was too cold and the blood kept clotting, plus my new knife is too dull. If I don't succeed dying to the knife I will blow all the shit out of my skull. Yet I do not know. I left all my lyrics by "Let the good times roll"—plus the rest of the money. Whoever finds it gets the fucking thing. As a last salutation may I present "Life Eternal". Do whatever you want with the fucking thing.
    • Who: Per Yngve Ohlin, AKA Dead, ex-vocalist with black metal band Mayhem, reported in Andrew O'Neill, A History of Heavy Metal (2017), p. 110.
    • Ohlin left this remark in his suicide note before cutting his wrists, then shooting himself in the head with a shotgun.
  • I must end it. There's no hope left. I'll be at peace. No one had anything to do with this. My decision totally.
    • Who: Freddie Prinze, comedian (January 29, 2977), reported in Kristine Bertini, Understanding and Preventing Suicide: The Development of of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them (2009), p. 132.
  • Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool - good luck.
  • When I am dead, and over me bright April
    Shakes out her rain drenched hair,
    Tho you should lean above me broken hearted,
    I shall not care.
    For I shall have peace.
    As leafey trees are peaceful
    When rain bends down the bough.
    And I shall be more silent and cold hearted
    Than you are now.
    • Sara Teasdale (poet), addressing her lover, d. 1933, reported in Kristine Bertini, Understanding and Preventing Suicide: The Development of of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them (2009), p. 133.
  • The future is just old age and illness and pain … I must have peace and this is the only way.
    • James Whale (May 29, 1957), film director, reported in Kristine Bertini, Understanding and Preventing Suicide: The Development of of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them (2009), p. 133.
  • The act of taking my own life is not something I am doing without a lot of thought. I don't believe that people should take their own lives without deep and thoughtful reflection over a considerable period of time. I do believe strongly, however, that the right to do so is one of the most fundamental rights that anyone in a free society should have. For me much of the world makes no sense, but my feelings about what I am doing ring loud and clear to an inner ear and a place where there is no self, only calm. Love always, Wendy. (suicide note)
    • Who: Wendy O. Williams (in her April 6, 1998 suicide note), punk rocker, lead vocalist for the Plasmatics, reported in David K. Frasier, Suicide in the Entertainment Industry: An Encyclopedia of 840 Twentieth Century Cases (2002), p. 347.
  • I feel certain that I'm 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.
    • Who: Virginia Woolf (March 28, 1941), reported in Kristine Bertini, Understanding and Preventing Suicide: The Development of of Self-Destructive Patterns and Ways to Alter Them (2009), p. 132.

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