Mindy McCready was living in pain, but that doesn't make her death at 37 any less tragic to those close to her—or to those who once knew her but hadn't seen much of the singer since her life started spiraling out of control in recent years.
Though authorities haven't officially declared McCready's death a suicide, the platinum-selling artist is said to have shot herself in the home where her boyfriend David Wilson had done the same a month earlier.
As officials and loved ones continue to put the pieces together, here's everything we know about McCready's death and what may have led to her decision to end her life:
• On Jan. 13, Wilson was found with a reportedly self-inflicted gunshot wound at the home he and McCready shared in Heber Springs, Ark., and was declared dead shortly afterward at a nearby hospital. McCready said in a statement that she was mourning the death of her soul mate and friends have since said that she gave up on life. Moreover, the pending investigation into Wilson's death prompted speculation that authorities suspected foul play, although there was never any official announcement that they suspected McCready--or anyone else—of shooting the musician and record producer.
• McCready did not attend a memorial that some college buddies held for Wilson on Jan. 19 in Fayetteville, Ark., saying afterward that it wasn't the appropriate place for her or her kids to pay tribute.
• In an interview with NBC News that aired on Today, she was asked if she killed her boyfriend, replying, "Oh, my God, no. He was my life. We were each others' life." She said: "I lay down next to him and just just pleaded with him not to die."
• On Jan. 30, McCready's ex, Billy McKnight, filed court documents expressing his concern about McCready's fitness as a mom and asking for numerous conditions—drug testing for McCready, background checks for those who came into contact with his kid, etc.—should she continue to care for them, plus increased visitation for himself.
• McCready's two sons—6-year-old Zander with McKnight and 10-month-old Zayne, with Wilson—were removed from her care on Feb. 6, only the latest chapter in a long-running saga with social services regarding her ability to care for her children.
• Later that day, heeding an emergency petition filed by McCready's father, a judge had the singer committed to a 21-day drug, alcohol and mental-health evaluation program. Tim McCready wrote in court documents that his daughter was taking prescription drugs, drinking, not bathing and had otherwise become unable to care for her kids.
• McCready was released into outpatient treatment on Feb. 7. "Being involuntarily committed and having her children taken away from her was eye-opening. It helped her realize she needs to focus on putting her family back together and moving forward from this tragedy," a source told E! News at the time.
• Sadly, on Feb. 17, McCready shot herself and her dog at the home she and Wilson shared—reportedly choosing the same spot to kill herself as Wilson chose five weeks beforehand. Deputies discovered her body at 3:58 p.m. on the front porch of the house. The Cleburne County Sheriff's Department said she died from "what appears to be a single self-inflicted gunshot wound," but the matter would be fully investigated.
• Preliminary autopsy results released the morning of Feb. 20 confirmed that McCready was killed by a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
• No funeral plans have been announced yet.
• Also on Feb. 17, a friend who had worked with McCready since her Celebrity Rehab days posted the singer's final recording, "I'll See You Yesterday," to YouTube. Danno Hanks told E! News that she had sent him a frame for the video the day before she died, along with a suicide hotline number.
"I thought she was talking about sending a message about suicide for David's death but this is unbelievable. She was sending me a message," Hanks said. "I wish I had been more alert to what it was."
—Reporting by Senta Scarborough and Holly Passalaqua
(Originally published Feb. 20, 2013, at 5 a.m. PT)