Ramblings & ephemera

John Berryman’s suicide note

From Steve Marsh’s “Homage to Mister Berryman” (Mpls St Paul Magazine: September 2008):

Berryman’s last words to Kate came on that January morning—he told her he was going to campus to clean his office. He had never said that before, she says, but Kate, who was attending Al-Anon meetings at the time, was trying “not to manage this situation.” Berryman had actually been sober for several months following repeated periods of hospitalization, twice at St. Mary’s and once at Hazelden. “But he had developed a hum,” Kate says. “He would hum all the time. And he stopped talking very much.”

After his suicide, Kate found a note written on the back of an envelope in a wastebasket.

O my love Kate, you did all you could.
I’m unemployable & a nuisance.
Forget me, remarry, be happy.

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