• Jackie Kennedy's grief after death of JFK laid bare in new biography
• Former First Lady said that her two children would be better off without her
• Was haunted by the assassination of her husband in Dallas in 1963
• Drank heavily after the president's death and would wake screaming
By DANIEL BATES IN NEW YORK
Jackie Kennedy was so upset at her husband’s death that she asked a priest if she would still meet her husband in heaven if she committed suicide.
The former First Lady told Father Richard McSorley that she was ‘so bleeding inside’ over John F Kennedy’s assassination that she wanted to take her own life.
Such was her grief that could not even look at a picture of her husband’s face - the only one she had was of him with his back turned.
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Mrs Kennedy even said that she would welcome a wave of copycat suicides after her death as it would allow America to ‘get out of their misery’.
The insight into her unbearable anguish is revealed in a new biography called ‘Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story’ by US author Barbara Leaming - extracts of which are published in this month's Vanity Fair.
It is one of the most detailed accounts yet of the fallout from the assassination of Mr Kennedy, who was shot dead as his motorcade drove through Dallas, Texas in November 1963.
According to Mrs Leaming, Mrs Kennedy spent the rest of the winter that year in a state of turmoil as she constantly replayed the horror in her mind.
She drank heavily - vodka became her anaesthetic - but she would wake up screaming on the few occasions she was able to sleep.
Solace came from Father McSorley, a theology teacher at Georgetown University who she met after he was hired to give her tennis lessons as he was a keen player.
According to the book, Mrs Kennedy asked him: ‘Do you think God would separate me from my husband if I killed myself?
‘It is so hard to bear. I feel as though I am going out of my mind at times.’
Mrs Kennedy also insisted that her two young children, Caroline and John, would be better off on their own and said: ‘I’m no good to them. I’m so bleeding inside.’
Months later the two met again and Mrs Kennedy had not moved on.
She said that she wanted to take her own life and be like Marilyn Monroe, who allegedly had an affair with her husband and appears to have committed suicide.
Mrs Kennedy said: ‘I was glad that Marilyn Monroe got out of her misery.
‘If God is going to make such a to-do about judging people because they take their own lives, then someone ought to punish Him’.
According to Mrs Leaming, Mrs Kennedy’s symptoms strongly suggest that she was suffering from an undiagnosed form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Six months on and, speaking at a service on what would have been her husband’s 47th birthday, she felt that she was back to square one in terms of her grieving.
The sight of her husband’s face in photographs was too much so she removed any of him from the White House.
Defence Secretary Bob McNamara and his wife Marg sent over two painted portraits of JFK to try to cheer her up so she accepted the smaller one of the two - and could not even stand to keep that.
Her agony was compounded when young John saw it, took a lollipop out of his mouth and kissed it, saying: ‘Good night, Daddy’.
Mrs Kennedy was eventually forced to leave the White House and make way for Lyndon Johnson, who had been sworn in hours after her husband died.
In the autumn of 1964 she decided to leave Washington entirely and move to New York City to begin a new life - but bristled at the suggestion she would remarry.
According to the book Mrs Kennedy told friends: ‘I consider that my life is over, and I will spend the rest of my life waiting for it really to be over.’