Vincent described what happened with Caroline in a letter to Theo in 1881. “I gave up on a girl and she married someone else, and I went far away from her and kept her in my thoughts anyway. Fatal.”
Caroline and her sister Annet, with whom Theo fell in love, were the brothers’ second cousins on their mother’s side. Both stories had a sad ending for the Van Goghs, as Annet fell ill and died, while Caroline married Willem van Stockum.