Refusing to be a Burden

A small hamlet near Pinos Puente, Granada, was the scene of two tragic deaths: a 77-year-old man and his 76-year-old, disabled wife made a suicide pact, so as not to become a burden on their children.

The son, found the bodies and the goodbye note the next morning at 06.50h at his parents’ home in Calle Alhomas Viejas, Casanueva. He had gone there because he had arranged to pick his father up to take him to hospital for an operation on his gall bladder.

What he found was his father with the top of his head blown off, and recovering from the shock, ran upstairs to his parents’ bedroom. There he found his mother, with the bedclothes drawn up to her neck and with a similarly lethal shotgun blast to the head. Gathering his wits, he phoned the Guardia Civil who came around immediately.

Thus ended 40 years of marriage, cut dramatically short with an old 16-bore shotgun, which was not registered.

Antonio, the father, left two handwritten notes. The first explaining that it had been a suicide pact to avoid becoming a burden upon their children, and the second, asked for their bodies to be cremated. Both letters only bore the husband’s signature; Isabel was illiterate, as are many country women of her age.

Isabel had suffered a cerebral thrombosis four years previously, leaving her completely paralyzed down one side. She required the help of two volunteers every day, as well as the help of her elderly husband and her adult children. Antonio, as mentioned above, was due to have major surgery that very day and according to his son and neighbours, he was very worried about it.

The complete lack of police reports of domestic violence or tales of violent arguments amongst the neighbours, inclines the police to discard the hypothesis of murder.

The two adult offspring, Luis and Maria Dolores, are shattered and shocked, as can be imagined. The funeral received a massive turnout amongst the villagers.

(News: Pinos Puente, Granada, Andalucia)