My mom called me at 7:30 that morning. I was still in bed and dragging my feet after a long night. She asked me what I was doing and I didn’t tell her the truth because I didn’t want to feel guilty about not having started my day yet. And then she told me. It was very point blank, really. There wasn’t very much emotion in her voice. And I kept telling her: “shut up, just shut up.”
The last year of my sister’s life was very painful. She’d always had trouble with addiction—mostly alcohol—but then she started dating this guy who got her into heroin. He was the one who called 911. The police called my mother. And I called my other sister. That’s how everyone came to know that she’d died, except my niece—her daughter—who was only three at the time. She says things like “mommy’s an angel” but I don’t think she really understands. I think she’s still waiting for her mommy to come back.
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