Clarissa hears about the death during her party. She stops and thinks about it, and we learn the thought of suicide has sometimes crossed her own mind. She thinks of the waste of Septimus's suicide: "he had flung it away." At the same time, she admires him for it. He had kept some part of himself pure in doing this, avoided "corruption, lies, chatter." His suicide, she decides, was an act of defiance. And as she thinks about him falling into the hands of Dr. Bradshaw, who she finds "obscurely evil," she better understands suicide as a way to keep from having one's soul broken. Finally, she ruminates on life as a frightening business and wonders how long she would last without her husband, Richard, to offer security.
Woolf had planned originally for Clarissa to be the suicide, so while Clarissa accepts it, it triggers her thoughts of the many ways she can understand killing oneself as an alternative to a trivial or broken life.
Lucrezia, Septimus's simple and good-hearted Italian wife, is upset by her husband's death. She had truly loved him and hoped he would get better. In the period before he flung himself out the window, he had seemed to be getting more lucid. However, she and Septimus were both upset that Dr. Bradshaw wanted to separate them. Then, as she sees Septimus's dead body, we learn "she understood." However, it is not clear if she understands he is dead or understands why he did it. She recalls that most of the memories of their marriage are happy ones. Primarily, she is in shock.