The saddest story I've come across was my great-grandmother's sister. She was placed in a mental hospital and spent several months there. Eventually she was deemed fit to leave, but at that time you needed a family member to come get you out, I guess they wanted to make sure you wouldn't be living on the streets or something.
So she wrote to her husband, not knowing that he died in a car accident just weeks before. Nobody answered, nobody wanted to talk to a person with the stigma of being in a mental hospital. She lived for many years in the hospital, and it's not known if she ever learned why her husband didn't answer, or what happened to her kids (they were taken in by relatives).