‘Downton Abbey’ Fans Sent Michelle Dockery Sympathy Letters

The end of Downton Abbey’s third season left viewers riddled with grief, some to the point where they wrote condolence notes to Michelle Dockery.

Dockery plays Lady Mary Crawley on the ITV series, who had given birth to the couple’s first son just before Crawley (Dan Stevens) was killed in a car accident.  It was reported that viewers accused show creator Julian Fellowes of “ruining Christmas” with such a ending.

People will consider me a part of their lives for however long Downton Abbey lasts,” Dockery told the Observer (via Daily Mail). It’s a lovely thing to feel as an actor. I get a delivery of letters about once a month. I even had bereavement cards after the last series.”

When season four picked up again, Lady Mary was still grieving, and refused to emerge from her bedroom or hold her son for more than a few moments at a time.

“It was just really strange not having Stevens around because three years is a long time to work with someone so closely,” Dockery said.

“There was a real sense of isolation with the character in the first episode because Mary has very much retreated. She’s become a bit of a recluse. It’s almost how it felt for me.”

Season four of Downton Abbey premieres January 5th in the US.