By Bernadette Martonik
From the couch in her office, I can hear my younger sister, Michelle, talking to my mother, their voices muffled by one wall and the earplugs I am wearing.
“Berny was on drugs today,” Michelle says.
I scowl into the darkness. Nearly eleven pm and I have only slept a handful of hours in the last few nights, and for the record, I ingested no drugs or alcohol that day.
But there was plenty of drinking before today, plenty of group crying and my own overflowing emotions, simultaneously sharp as a pin prick and nebulous as a dream, the way I’ve learned life becomes when you are smacked in the face with unexpected death.
My sister has lived in California for nearly six years and despite the fact that I’ve been invited, I’ve never visited before. The rest of my family has left Los Angeles for their respective homes in the Pacific Northwest, and my mother and I are the last two left. We aren’t ready to leave Michelle alone after losing her partner just two weeks earlier. Continue Reading…