Prolonged bereavement — Case Study No. 181221
Page from patient diary — CONFIDENTIAL — provided by Dr. Wilhelm Michelob, Einrichtung für Psychiatrie, Vienna.
Notes: Patient appears to be addressing his former place of residence.
Yes yes lowly bungalow you don’t have to tell me… I know I’m going mad… it’s been progressing unsteadily since my wife died twentyone months and seventeen days ago… but you know that because you were here and saw the whole thing unravel, the ambulance, wailing death screamer in the night and the medics… such desperate looks of hopelessness… and even though the madness started slowly it has been growing, hidden away from the few friends and relatives I have left and even to myself because my wife kept me sane and now I am drifting in a sea of madness and people don’t say it because no one talks to me anymore but I know they are thinking, Grow up you fool you weak minded idiot, wives and husbands die all the time and remaining spouses get over it and go on with their lives so why the hell should you be any different than everybody else, talking and acting so weird, so way out of proportion, so crazy and drinking eightyproof firewater like there’s no tomorrow and all I can tell them is that I’m not everybody else and if you want to know the truth I had the seeds of madness to begin with… even my son went mad and I think my mother was mad but as long as my wife was in my life and in my head the seeds stayed in the ground and did not grow but the moment she died they started to grow and now it’s my wife who is in the ground and the seeds are weeds overgrowing my brain and I’ll have to go to the hardware store tomorrow and get a Goddamn weed-cutter
[Note ends abruptly]
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