These suicide notes were gathered at the coroners' offices by a suicidologist/psychiatrist who asked to be anonymous. He edited identifying details out of the compiled manuscript, and we changed the names. But the text of each letter plus the age and sex given are real. All these people did kill themselves. Were they ambivalent about it? About half the hundred or so letters we saw seemed to have some element of doubt. Married Female, age 59 Dear David, After six weeks of streptomycin shots and a total of eleven weeks of rest in bed we have conclusive proof that the ulcers in my bronchial tubes have not healed. The short period of the streptomycin inhalations could not have brought on the results if the ulceration had even partially healed. To try further would mean many more months of bed rest -- more shots and inhalations -- I can't remain at the hospital for the winter months and a prolonged stay at a rest home is out of the question. I did some figuring -- the weekly rate there -- the amount of streptomycin for shots and inhalations plus the doctor's weekly visits would total to over $200 a week -- I can't bleed my family for any such amount of money, and that means that as soon as the money I have in my checking account runs out I would have to return home -- back to the same conditions which caused me to go downhill so steadily. It's a vicious circle from which there seems no escape. I could of course use up the money from the sale of our furnishings and silver as well as some I put aside for the furnishing of our home -- but all it put together would be like a drop ion the bucket -- besides I am now convinced that my condition is too chronic and therefore a cure doubtful. All of a sudden all will and determination to fight on has left me. I have long ago prepared myself for the time when I reached the end of the trail. I feel calm and at peace and grateful that I can go to sleep painlessly. I feel justified in terminating a life which no longer holds any hope of having the essentials which make it worth living -- I did desperately want to get well -- I still had much to live for -- hope for recovery -- hope of a reunion with the children -- work which I loved and which could have given me financial security and great satisfaction. But it was not to be -- I am defeated and exhausted physically and emotionally. Please tell the children that I loved them always and that my love has never faltered. I grieve that I could not have had the joy of being close to our babies, but that is no one's fault. Thank God they are well -- with my passing all menace to their wellbeing will have disappeared. I want you to know that I have a deep affection for you. I am deeply grateful for all your kindness. I wish I could have made a happier life for you. It was mostly my fault, please forgive me. Please write to Fran and Tony and to Marilyn and Jim and tell them that my love and gratitude could not possibly be put into words. Their generosity, devotion, love and tact made it possible for me to accept their financial help over a long period of time. I wish with all my heart that they might have been better rewarded -- All of you, my dear ones, I ask to keep my memory alive in your hearts -- To live on in the hearts of our dear ones is all that I can conceive of immortality. Please think of me kindly. Remember that which was good and lovely in our relationship and forgive me for the many mistakes I have made. Now that it is all said I feel at peace. I want Dr. B. to officiate at my funeral. I think Joe would like to have him with him at that time. Dear David, I am said that I must go just a few days before your birthday -- but it so happened to pan out. I see no good in incurring the expense and misery of the bronchoscopy. I wish I could spare you the ordeal you have ahead. Try not to grieve. I ask all of you, my dear ones, not to mourn my passing. Be glad I am at least free from the misery of the bronchoscopy. I wish I could spare you the ordeal you have ahead. Try not to grieve. I ask all of you, my dear ones, not to mourn my passing. Be glad I am at least free from the miseries and loneliness I have endured for so long and that at last I'll have peace and rest... top Single female, age 21 My dearest Andrew, It seems as if I have been spending all my life apologizing to you for things that happened whether they were my fault or not. I am enclosing your pin because I want you to think of what you took from me every time you see it. I don't want you to think I would kill myself over you because you're not worth any emotion at all. It is what you cost me that hurts and nothing can replace it. Single male, age 51 Sunday 4:45 PM. Here goes To who it may concern Though I am about to kick the bucket I am as happy as ever. I am tired of this life so am going over to see the other side. Good luck to all. Benjamin P. Married male, age 48 Elaine, Darling, My mind -- always warped and twisted -- has reached the point where I can wait no longer -- I don't dare wait longer -- until there is the final twist and it snaps and I spend the rest of my life in some state run snake pit. I am going out -- and I hope it is out -- Nirvanha, I think the Bhudaists (how do you spell Bhudaists?) call it which is the word for "nothing." That's as I have told you for years, is what I want. Imagine God playing a dirty trick on me like another life!!! I've lived 47 years -- there aren't 47 days I would live over again if I could avoid it. Let us, for a moment be sensible. I do ont remember if the partnership agreement provides for a case like this -- but if it doesn't and I think it doesn't, I would much prefer -- I haven't time to make this a legal requirement -- but, I would much prefer that you, as executrix under my will, do not elect to participate in profits for 2 or 3 years or whatever it may be that is specified there. My partners have been generous with me while I worked with them. There is no reason why, under the circumstances of my withdrawal from the firm, they should pay anything more. I could wish that I had, for my goodby kiss, a .38 police special with which I have made some good scores -- not records but at least made my mark. Instead, I have this black bitch -- bitch, if the word is not familiar to you -- but at least an honest one who will mean what she says. The neighbors may think it's a motor backfire ,but to me she will whisper -- "Rest - Sleep." Albert P.S. I think there is enough insurance to see Valerie through school, but if there isn't -- I am sure you would out of the insurance payments, at least -- I hope further and I don't insist that you have the ordinary decency -- decency that is -- to do so -- Will you see Valerie through college -- she is the only one about whom I am concerned as this .38 whispers in my ear. top Married male, age 45 My darling, May her guts rot in hell -- I loved her so much. Henry Divorced female, age 61 You cops will want to know why I did it, well, just let us say that I lived 61 years too many. People have always put obstacles in my way. One of the great ones is leaving this world when you want to and have nothing to live for. I am not insane. My mind was never more clear. It has been a long day. The motor got so hot it would not run so I just had to sit here and wait. The breaks were against me to the last. The sun is leaving the hill now so hope nothing else happens. Married male, age 74 What is a few short years to live in hell. That is all I get around here. No more I will pay the bills. No more I will drive the car. No more I will wash, iron & mend any clothes. No more I will have to eat the leftover articles that was cooked the day before. This is no way to live. Either is it any way to die. Her grub I can not eat. At night I can not sleep. I married the wrong nag-nag-nag and I lost my life. W.S. to the undertaker We have got plenty money to give me a decent burial. Don't let my wife kid you by saying she has not got any money. Give this note to the cops. top Give me liberty or give me death. W.S. Married male, age 45 Dear Claudia, You win, I can't take it any longer, I know you have been waiting for this to happen. I hope it makes you very happy, this is not an easy thing to do, but I've got to the point where there is nothing to live for, a little bit of kindness from you would of made everything so different, but all that ever interested you was the dollar. It is pretty hard for me to do anything when you are so greedy even with this house you couldn't even be fair with that, well it's all yours now and you won't have to see the Lawyer anymore. I wish you would you give my personal things to Danny, you couldn't get much from selling them anyway, you still have my insurance, it isn't much but it will be enough to take care of my debts and still have a few bucks left. You always told me that I was the one that made Sharon take her life, in fact you said I killed her, but you know down deep in your heart it was you that made her do what she did, and now you have two deaths to your credit, it should make you feel very proud. Good By Kid P.S. Disregard all the mean things I've said in this letter, I have said a lot of things to you I didn't really mean and I hope you get well and wish you the best of everything. Cathy -- don't come in. Call your mother, she will know what to do. Love Daddy Cathy don't go in the bedroom. Married female, age 50 When a "man" doesn't know where to take his wife -- then she isn't a wife any more -- I hope you will be "free" to take anyone any place and I'm sure you will not have any trouble as to places -- Please don't tell my mother the truth -- your whole tribe is partly responsible for this -- from your mother on down -- hope they are satisfied. Married female, age 56 About the Evil god (yes) About the Evil Seers killing people for their money (yes) I am a profit at my death I am a root of the stem of Jesse (yes) We have made many discoveries. We have found out who the people with the mark of the beast are. And the devil was a human being now killed and cast into hell and the angel with the keys of the bottomless pit is in hell casting out all the good souls which these evil people have cast into hell for no reason. The good Seers who serve our God are 1/3 to 2/3 of the evil ones in this world. We are better than holding our owne but in Heaven God is almost over come and I kill myself so I may go and help him, because I have a funny little quirk in my brain which helps. 6 palmy each at a few years sport. Our god will send them into the world. top Single male, age 13 I know what I am doing. Annette found out. Ask Cara. I love you all. Bill Widowed female, age 52 (Her husband died three months before.) Please tell Ron's folks I love them very much but my heart breaks when I see or hear from them. Also all our friends especially Irene and Charles and Ella I love them also. Forgive me for not seeing them. Everyone seems so happy and I am so alone. Amy. I wanted to visit you but I am going around in a dream. Alice I wanted to help you paint but how could I with a broken heart. And my head aches so much any more my nerves are ready to break and what would happen if they did. You will say I am crazy and I can't go on this way just half living. I loved this house once but now it is so full of memories I can't stay here. I have tried to think of some way to go on but can't. Am so nervous all the time -- I loved Ron too much but is that a sin, with him gone I have nothing. Oh I have the girls and family but they don't fill the vacant spot left in my heart ... Xmas is coming I can't go on I'm afraid I would break down. I've thought of this so many times. I love every one but I can't be one of you any more. Please think kindly of me and forgive me. I only hope this is fatal then I can rest and no more trouble to any one. Do with Lisa whats best I know she has been a lot of worry to mama and I'm sorry. I tried to keep the yard up that seemed to be the only comfort I had. I loved it but that wasn't anything. I've lost every thing so why go on. I worshipped Ron and when he went I lost my whole world and everything. I'm so tired and lonely. There goes a siren. Oh how can I stand being left. I need to go to a Dr. but I am afraid. I'm so cold. Mother Love, Louise Married male, age 40 Jimmy! Remember what I told you and always respect, protect and obey your mother and always remember that I love you so much. I am going to leave you forever because I am too sick to go on. God bless you my Son and when your time comes to go to Heaven you will find your ole Pappy waiting for you. Daddy top Single female, age 16 Dear Mother & Dad, Please forgive me. I have tried to be good to you both. I love you both very much and wanted to get along with you both. I have tried. I have wanted to go out with you and Dad but I was always afraid to ask for I always felt that the answer would be no. And about Bud, I want to dismiss every idea about him. I don't like him any more than a companion, for a while I thought I did but no more, in fact, I am quite tired of him, as you know, I get tired of everyone after a while. And mother, I wish that you hadn't called me a liar, and said I was just like Hap. as I'm not. It is just that I am afraid of you both at times, but I love you both very much. So Long Your loving daughter that will always love you Mary P.S. Please forgive me. I want you to, and don't think for one minute that I haven't appreciate everything you've done. Single male, age 35 (He committed suicide after he killed his girlfriend.) Mommie, my Darling, To love you as I do and live without you is more than I can bear. I love you so completely, wholeheartedly without restraint. I worship you, that is my fault. With your indifference to me; is the difference. I've tried so hard to make our lives pleasant and lovable, but you didn't seem to care. You had great plans which didn't include me. You didn't respect me. That was the trouble. You treated me like a child. I couldn't reach you as a man and woman or man and wife as we've lived. I let you know my feelings toward you when I shouldn't have. How I loved you, what you meant to me. Without you life is unbearable. This is the best way. This will solve all our problems. You can't hurt me further and anyone else. I was a "toll" while you needed me or thought you did. But now that I could use some help, you won't supply the need that was prominent when you need it. So, good bye my love. If it is possible to love in the hereafter, I will love you even after death. May God have mercy on both our souls. He alone knows my heartache and sorrow and love for you. Daddy Single female, age 31 My boss, Kenneth J., seduced me and made me pregnant. He refuses to help me. I had not had intercourse in two years. He says that I will have to suffer through it by myself. Several people know about this -- my doctor, Dr. James R., and Pete M., who works at Willams. Pete and I never had a love affair, although Kenneth would like to drag Pete into it. Also, Dr. Arnold W. knows about it. I have always been such a good girl. Daddy dear -- As much as it hurts me, I cannot make it this Friday. I may be in very serious trouble. I have always been a very good person, but it looks like I really got in a mess, through no real fault of my own. I must have been born to suffer. Love - Elizabeth P.S. Call me if you can. When will Sally be back? I may need her desperately.