She had a mental disease with physical consequences, and that’s what killed her. The time to treat her malnutrition, to force-feed her, was before she destroyed herself. Anorexia, like alcoholism, is insidious; it doesn’t happen overnight. This illness develops when a person, usually female, feels they have no control over their life. That, combined with low self-esteem and the positive reinforcement that comes with being thin and looking “good,” can be fatal. The guilt the family feels must be overwhelming, but protracting her death is a selfish salve for not having been able to help her when she really needed it.