Was it because I had changed, or because I had been incapable of imagining then that natural causes would bring me one day to this unprecedented pass? At all events, how I should have lied now had I written to her, as I had said to her in Paris, that I hoped that no accident might befall her! Ah!if some accident had happened to her, my life, instead of being poisoned for ever by this incessant jealousy, would at once regain, if not happiness, at least a state of calm through the suppression of suffering.
The suppression of suffering? Can I really have believed it, have believed that death merely strikes out what exists, and leaves everything else in its place, that it removes the pain from the heart of him for whom the other's existence has ceased to be anything but a source of pain, that it removes the pain and substitutes nothing in its place? The suppression of pain! As I glanced at the news items in the papers, I regretted that I had not had the courage to form the same wish as Swann. If Albertine could have been the victim of an accident, were she alive I should have had a pretext for hastening to her bedside, were she dead I should have recovered, as Swann said, my freedom to live. Did I believe this? He had believed it, that subtlest of men who thought he knew himself well. How little do we know of what we have in our hearts! How clearly, a little later, had he been still alive, I could have proved to him that his wish was not only criminal but absurd, that the death of the woman he loved would have delivered him from nothing!
Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, pp. 484-485
"If Albertine could have been the victim of an accident, were she alive I should have had a pretext for hastening to her bedside, were she dead I should have recovered, as Swann said, my freedom to live. Did I believe this?"
I've often joked that anyone who says that they have not at one time or another looked at their wife/fiancee/girlfriend - or their husband/fiance/boyfriend - without, almost comically, seeing the pile of money, neatly stacked, that would accrue to the viewer by the timely death of the viewee is lying. Actually, I may have said it in a joking way, but I'm completely serious about it. Marcel is making a similar point, but then adds, "Did I believe this?" In the end he has to say no, "that the death of the woman he loved would have delivered him from nothing!" You would feel the same pain and the same suffering. To this notion I suppose you could add, although Proust doesn't directly, that you would not have the intermittent joy. In an breakup we always want to be able to claim the moral high ground. No matter how painful it would be if she left you for another man or woman, at least you'd be able to then stand above the fray and play the aggrieved party - and who is a more thorough and repulsive homewrecker than himself itself?
Proust also continued to tease us with another foreshadowing of Albertine's death (and, yet another spoiler alert).