How Frida died seems to be controversial. Did she die of a "pulmonary embolism" as reported on her official death certificate, did she commit suicide as many suspect, or was it a case of "assisted suicide" with Diego's help? Since Diego was reluctant to have an autopsy performed and his eagerness to have the body promptly cremated we'll never know for sure. We can only speculate based on the clues she left behind.
After the amputation of her right leg in August of 1953, Frida's mental state declined rapidly. On February 11, 1954, she wrote in her diary that she keeps wanting to kill herself but her love for Diego stops her. But, the last line of that entry reads: "…I will wait a little while"…an indication that she may actually attempt suicide some time later. This was not the only time Frida wrote or spoke about suicide.
In June Frida contracted pneumonia and was confined to bed. On the eve of her death, she gave Diego a gold ring that she bought for him for their 25th wedding anniversary…still 17 days away. She explained to Diego that she was giving it to him now "…because I feel I am going to leave you very soon...". Did she know she was going to die because of failing health or did she know she was going to commit suicide that night…?
A pill count the following morning revealed that she did in fact take 4 more pain pills than was prescribed by the doctor. Was it intentional to commit suicide…or was it because at that point she was in so much pain and just wanted relief at any cost…or was it an accidental overdose…? And was it really the cause of her death…or was she really a victim of pneumonia…?
My personal theory is that it was a combination of years of smoking and drinking, too many surgeries (more than 30), too many pills, an acute case of pneumonia and a declining will to endure the suffering anymore. Exhausted from the endless struggle to live she just gave up and allowed herself to die.
Frida left us with an unsolved mystery…..but that's the way she would have wanted it.