New "Bridget Jones" Book Excerpt Reveals Mark Darcy Is Dead: 5 Reasons We're Heartbroken

Author Helen Fielding has written a third book, out October 10, starring the bumbling Bridget Jones, a character popularized for being immediately identifiable to many women. Her loneliness, inability to meet a nice man, and embarrassing exploits kept us glued to the page and, later, to the screen, when Bridget came to life via Renee Zellweger and the refined and gorgeous Colin Firth played Mark Darcy. Fans were thrilled to find out we'd get to see what happened to Bridget and Mark after they got married in the new book, "Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy." But a new excerpt published in the Sunday Times magazine has women's collective mouths open: Mark Darcy is dead? Bridget is a widow with two children? And she's dating again?

In the excerpt, Bridget toys with the idea of dating a much younger man, 30 years old to Bridget's cougar status at the age of 51, after Mark Darcy died five years earlier. Has Helen Fielding lost her mind? Has she perhaps imbibed too many glasses of Bridget's beloved vodka? Killing off Mark Darcy is an epic disappointment to fans.

Why are we all so in love with the man? Here are 5 reasons women everywhere are reaching for the Kleenex after this revealing and devastating announcement.

1. Mark Darcy is our dream man. Let's face it. The scene when he says to Bridget that he loves her "just as she is" had many of us reaching for the remote, so we could play it over, and over, and over. We all dream of a man who loves us despite the fact that we make fools of ourselves, especially in public. We love that Mark accepts Bridget for her curvy figure, bad habits, and blunt disposition. We want someone to love us like that.

2. Mark Darcy flies all the way to Thailand to pull Bridget out of prison after a ridiculous arrest.

3. The fight scene between Mark and Daniel Cleaver, Bridget's smarmy ex-fling, played perfectly by Hugh Grant. Enough said.

4. Mark's terrible Christmas jumpers.

5. The fact that Mark Darcy is the complete package has not escaped us. He is rich with a good job, perfectly polite and handsome, soft spoken, sweet, and parents love him. What more could a woman want? Any man willing to go to Thailand to rescue a woman is worth his weight in cigarettes, brand new journals for Bridget's fresh start, and loads of unflattering knickers.

Tell us in the comments: why will you miss Mark Darcy?