In this paper, 223 notes and messages left behind by suicides are subjected to a systematic analysis. Both the formal aspects and the contents are scrutinized. Contrary to expectations, the number of farewell lines written by women increased with advancing age. More than three-fourths of the messages left behind by elderly persons were very scanty or relatively short. In over one-third of the cases recorded, aggressive statements increase with advancing age in women, but decrease in the case of men. Moreover, with progressing age in women, there is a noticeable increase in self-accusatory statements as well. The motive for suicide mentioned with the greatest frequency is illness. In the second part of the paper, the findings are discussed and the author presents a number of inferences that are of practical value in suicide prevention work and the treatment of the suicide-prone.

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