Suicide - the act of killing oneself intentionally - has been part of human life since the dawn of time, but has never been so widely and openly discussed as it is today. With the ongoing debate about the rights of the terminally ill to end their own lives, the phenomenon of Internet sites dedicated to advice on how to end your life, and the craze for mass suicides among the Japanese, suicide is rarely out of the news in the 21st century. Through his researches Udo Grashoff has discovered 50 suicide notes that help us to better understand why despairing people commit the ultimate taboo. In this unique collection those reasons are remarkably universal, from unrequited love, to loss of a spouse, to simple frustration with a domestic situation. Here are the problems that many of us encounter in our lives; so why is it that only some of us feel that suicide is the only solution? For each of the notes included here, any knowledge of the factors and events leading to the suicide are sensitively explained, along with police accounts of the circumstances, allowing the reader to paint a full and vivid picture of each individual tragedy.
Udo Grashoff is a journalist and medical historian. He first discovered these letters through academic research and has lectured widely on the subject.