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Prince’s Ex-Wife Mayte Garcia Reveals How They Said Goodbye to Newborn Son Amiir After Prayers Failed Them

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In a new memoir Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia shares the story of their four-year marriage and the tragedy that tore them apart. Subscribe now for the exclusive excerpt – only in PEOPLE!

Late music icon Prince‘s only child with ex-wife Mayte Garcia lived just six days – a tragic loss that left the couple heartbroken and, ultimately, derailed their marriage.

In her upcoming memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince – which appears in this week’s issue of PEOPLE – Garcia, now 43, details the death of her son Amiir, who was born Oct. 16, 1996, with the rare genetic disorder Pfeiffer syndrome type 2.

After his birth, Garcia says that Amiir underwent procedure after procedure.

Cheyenne Ellis

“Feeding tubes. Every day something new went wrong,” she writes in the memoir. “After six days, he was struggling to breathe and I said to the doctor, ‘He’s not leaving here, is he?’ ”

After the doctor insisted a tracheotomy was necessary to save Amiir’s life, Garcia says she got “hysterical,” saying, “You’re torturing him!”

“My husband tried to calm me down,” she writes. “We stood there, coming to the same terrible place. ‘We have to let him go.’ ”

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For much more on Mayte Garcia and the new Prince book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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Peter Zambouros

Garcia – who had wed Prince just earlier that year – says baby Amiir’s ashes were brought to their home in an urn.

“I don’t know how long I lay in bed with Amiir’s ashes,” she writes. “The next day – or maybe it was a week later or in another lifetime – my husband came to me and said ‘I can’t be here. I have to go.’ Days passed in darkness.”

Cheyenne Ellis

The tragedy left Garcia suicidal, and eventually the strain of loss was too much: The pair divorced after four years of marriage, in 2000.
Of the loss, she tells PEOPLE Now, ““I don’t think he ever got over it. I know I haven’t.”

When Prince accidentally overdosed from the painkiller fentanyl last April, Garcia remembers thinking, “He’s with our son now. I know they’re finally together.”