The note continued in the same vein:

Gertie was sometimes called Gertrude. This was her name on certificates and papers but never her real name. Anyone who called Gertie by that name was no friend of hers.

Gertie was said to always be nervous, but this was a lie. Gertie would pretend to be nervous or even pretend to faint because it made people see Gertie and treat her with kindness.

Gertie was barren, they said, and could never have children. But Gertie knew this wasn’t true. Her husband insisted it was so, and tried to prove himself right with many others.

Gertie was weak, they said, but they’d never had to be Gertie.
Gertie was many things at many times to many people and in many eyes.

Gertie was none of those things afterwards.

Gertie was no longer Gertie.