A Thousand Deaths

You were 27
You lived and died
You died a thousand deaths before you stopped breathing
You told me you wanted to die
But we both knew you were dead already
Dead to life
Forced yourself to die 
To be able to live

You killed yourself
A piece at a time
Your feelings first
You fried your brain
You burned your body
I still see you sitting there
Your hair just starting to grow in
Your eyebrows a thin line of stubble

It was the loss of your third child that took you down 
Denied access
You cried
You cursed while beating the keyboard
Begging, manipulating, threatening 
Your baby’s father online
You agonized out loud
And yet . . . you had hope

Over time it faded 
But not your anger or despair
They built and found a way
Aided by chemicals
Overtaking your brain
Dehumanizing you
You showed up half clothed and ate like an animal
Survival was all that was left
Your life could no longer be reconciled with living
Death becoming an answer to life

It lasted longer than expected 
But it came
Confirmed by the coroner in one word
The obituary talked about two children back home
Not the third
The one I had met when you still laughed
I cannot picture it anymore
Your life jaded by deep overwhelming sadness
Your death by relief

You stare at me from the death notice
A melancholic peace in your eyes
A smile from a time before times
And I know
I never really knew you 
Only what you had become . . .