The old man's son pointed out in an email, that Chilean Violetta Parra committed suicide a year after writing Gracias a la vida. The song was released in the album Las Últimas Composiciones (1966). The question naturally arises, why suicide?
The implied answer in Wikipedia is her break-up with Swiss flautist Gilbert Favre. Others blame the lack of public recognition in Chile for her music and her work. One can blame the political climate in Chile in 1967, leftest and conservatives camps were at odds. Caught in the middle was Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei Montalva, who, nder the slogan "Revolution in Liberty", attempted unsuccessful economic programs.
The real reason will never be known. Violetta kept that reason to herself. But she did say to a reporter shortly before her death,“Something is missing in me, I don’t know what it is. I look for it and I never find it. Surely I will never come upon it.”
This is Chile.