This is my sister Isabel. She died in her sleep a few months ago from an accidental gas leak from the heater. At least that’s what we tell people happened.
The truth is she committed suicide.
She shut the doors, took sleeping pills, gassed up her room, and went to bed. She was found a few days later by a friend.
I was in London when I heard she had passed. I had to go back home to be with my family in Spain. We learnt from the police that she had attempted suicide before, she had driven herself into a wall on purpose a few months earlier.
Isabel was my best friend; we did everything together and talked a lot. It’s difficult to understand why she couldn’t talk about whatever it was with me. She told me she crashed her car, but it was okay; she had only minor scratches, and it didn’t sound like a big deal.
Now that I think about it she was acting a bit disconnected before she died, we had planned a vacation together and were excited about it because we had both recently moved out of Spain to different Countries. It was supposed to be a time to bond and celebrate her birthday but she just suddenly called it off, I went on the trip alone, and when I called her on her birthday, I was a day too late because I wasn’t conscious of the difference in time zone and it upset her.
Instead of returning to London from the vacation, I went to her place. I really wanted to spend time with her. We connected sometimes, but most times she wasn’t there (I do not mean physically) we would be sitting and talking, and she would suddenly fall silent and stare into space I was worried, but I didn’t think that was suicidal.
In the last week I spent with her, we went to get tattoos, and she chose to have our dad’s friend’s name tattooed. It didn’t make sense that she would tattoo the name of this priest on her body. I reasoned that she was close to him because he was the only person she knew in the Country, and he had gotten her a job to care for old nuns, but it still didn’t make sense to me.One day we were discussing, and she said, “this is the room padre(father) stays when he sleeps over,” I told her priests stay in monasteries, and it was wrong that the priest sometimes slept over. I was distraught, I didn’t understand who my sister was becoming.
Days later, she told me I had to leave because a friend of hers was coming over. She was going to drop me off at the train station, and I had to wait for over half an hour for the next train. I didn’t understand what the rush was about or why I had to leave, but I left. I was really mad at her.
In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have reported the things I saw on that trip to my family, perhaps the pressure was too much. I think she didn’t feel the love in our corrections because most of it was done over the phone. Search records on her computer showed she put a lot of thought into taking her life; she even considered jumping off a building.
I think she was already suicidal before I visited her. I only wish she would have said something.
Sometimes I wonder why the priest didn’t call my dad (his friend) to inform him of her first suicide attempt after all the police did tell him.
Letting her move out of Spain was a bad idea. I think she was really lonely there.
We were writing a Spanish book together before she died. I don’t know if I’ll finish it.