An estimated 17 to 30 per cent of people who commit suicide leave behind a last note. The crazy thing is a lot of the notes are often insightful. Even the world’s most famous people suffer from isolation and lack coping skills. Who knew? We assume fame and fortune brings about self-esteem or a sense of purpose in life.
"Suicide is a symptom of an uncaring society... The suicide is the victim of conditions which we cannot tolerate [...] which overwhelm him, for which there is no recourse... I have been in a suicidal mood myself today for perhaps the first time in my life, so I have personal empathy...” - Jim Jones
An uncaring society? As it turns out, even the people we show the most love and devotion to still suffer from depression. Famous people have their dark sides. They battle substance abuse, mental disorders, and everything common to the human experience. It could also be the lack of social support, erratic moods swings of depression, disappointment and failure.
Unfortunately, life is hard for all people. It's like putting a giant weight on someone’s shoulders. And no one except Superman can carry the weight of an 18-wheeler truck on their back. Everyone is susceptible to crumbling under pressure. It’s interesting to see the last thoughts of some of the world’s greatest people. And it definitely shows you their vulnerable side - the side away from the cameras and the glamorous lifestyles. The inevitable shadow side we all hide.
Here are 10 Chilling Celeb Suicide Notes You Didn't Know Existed.
10 Marilyn Monroe’s Last Words
Marilyn Monroe's drug addiction had become severe. Makeup was “applied while she was still asleep under the influence.” Her films were gaining bad reviews. She spent four weeks in the hospital for depression. Colleagues described her as unprofessional. Her mood swings were unpredictable. And she was overdosing on barbiturates.
Monroe died in her bedroom in 1962. A “probable suicide” was declared by the coroner. Three empty medicine bottles lay next to her bed. Her last words were, “Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you’re a nice guy.”
9 Adolf Hitler’s Last Words
All German forces Adolf Hitler depended on to rescue Berlin were under submission. Only 40 hours before, Hitler and Eva Braun tied the knot. After having lunch, Hitler and Eva said their farewells. A gunshot rang out. Hitler shot himself with his own pistol. Eva died of cyanide poisoning. The day before, Hitler left behind both a political and personal testament.
“I die with a happy heart, aware of the immeasurable deeds and achievements of our soldiers […] our women at home, the achievements […] unique in history, of our youth who bear my name.”
8 Kurt Cobain's Last Words
Born in Aberdeen, Washington in 1967, Kurt Cobain grew to fame with the band Nirvana in the 1990s. His music inspired a generation of grunge music enthusiasts. The singer and songwriter reportedly had issues with ADHD and battled bipolar disorder. This coupled with excessive drug and alcohol abuse compounded his problems.
Before he shot himself to death, leaving his child Frances Bean Cobain fatherless and Courtney Love a widow, Cobain left a suicide note. "Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your altar. Please keep going Courtney, for Frances for her life will be so much happier without me. I LOVE YOU. I LOVE YOU," he wrote.
7 Hunter S. Thompson’s Last Words
Known worldwide for “Hell’s Angels” (1965). Thompson spent a year living and riding with the Angels as part of a journalism project, becoming a counter-culture figure in the 1970s. A major advocate of “New Journalism” he's best known for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” He once ran for sheriff and had a lifelong affiliation with Rolling Stone magazine. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and firearms ruled his life.
He died in 2005. John Kerry and Jack Nicholson both attended his funeral.
6 Vincent Van Gogh’s Last Words
In 1889, Van Gogh requested confinement in an asylum. During this time he ventured between extreme mood swings, demonstrating modern-day bipolar disorder. He began creating some of his most famous works, including “Starry Night.” On July 27th, 1890, Van Gogh left the inn he was staying at, and did not return at his regular time. He finally arrived during the night, holding his stomach, coughing up the words, “I tried to kill myself” and “the sadness will last forever.”
Van Gogh left a note to his brother Theo, three days before his death.
5 Kevin Carter’s Last Words
Kevin Carter took this famous photograph while freelancing for the “Bang Bang Club.” He was one of four photographers active during the break down of South Africa’s apartheid system. Soon after, he received the Pulitzer Prize. “I can’t wait to show you the trophy […] the highest acknowledgement of my work I could receive,” he wrote his parents.
Eliane Laffont said, “…girls were falling for him, and everybody wanted to hear what he had to say.” Months later, he poisoned his body with carbon monoxide near a river he visited as a child.
4 Robert Budd Dwyer’s Last Words
R. Budd Dwyer was an American politician. Serving the state of Pennsylvania from 1971 to 1987, as senator and treasurer. In 1986, Dwyer was caught receiving a bribe. He maintained his innocence, insisting it was a setup. Facing 55 years in prison, he called a press conference the day before his sentencing.
"I've repeatedly said that I'm not going to resign as State Treasurer […] I ask those that believe in me to continue to extend friendship and prayer to my family, to work untiringly for the creation of a true justice system here in the United States […] Joanne, Rob, DeeDee - I love you! Thank you for making my life so happy. Good bye to you all…”
3 Ian Curtis’s Last Words
Ian Curtis of Joy Division was only 23 when he died. “He had three personas he was trying to juggle […] married-man persona […] the laddish [bro-ish] side [..] [and the] literary side,” says Peter Hook, author of “Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division.” “He was actually, most of the time, acting quite normal.”
2 Elliott Smith’s Last Words
Elliott Smith was an American singer/songwriter, proficient on many instruments and was graced with a vocal style described as “whispery.” Around 2001, he became paranoid. He suspected a white van was following him everywhere. He wouldn't eat and he'd go days without sleep.
And around this time, Smith threatened to take his own life. Wanting his record label to release him from contract, he was smoking enormous amounts of heroin and crack everyday. He tried to overdose many times.
1 Virginia Woolf’s Last Words
Virginia Woolf was a prominent “modernist” writer. Her most famous novel, “Mr. Dalloway,” gained entry into a TIME magazine “100 Best” list. But since childhood, she suffered severe bipolar disorder, possibly influenced by sexual abuse from her half-brothers. After completing her last manuscript, World War II had come. Her home fell during a bombing raid and she fell into depression. On March 28, 1941, Woolf filled her overcoat with stones and walked into the River Ouse. She drowned there, at the age of 59.
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