ABSTRACT

Towards the late 1960s, Donald Woods Winnicott certainly began to slow down. By this time he had already suffered several heart attacks, and he started to look very old and craggy. In 1963, after forty years of service, he had to retire from his post at the Paddington Green Children's Hospital. In spite of many difficulties and much pain, Winnicott preserved his intelligence and his clinical acumen until the very end. Of greatest importance, Donald and Clare Winnicott began to embark on the difficult but necessary psychological preparation for his impending death. Winnicott continued to use the final months of his life to prepare for death. His writing from the latter part of 1970 offers every indication that he knew that he would soon be dead. Only a matter of days before his death, Winnicott received a welcome letter of appreciation from Frances Tustin, one of the child psychotherapists who had trained at the Tavistock Clinic.