Photo by Ariel Matos | Words by Patricia Matos
It has been four years since my sister died. She was 41 years old. She was a single mother with a 20-month old. She suffered in silence from depression. She drank herself to death. Her life was so much fuller than the previous sentences that described her death. She had a generous smile, the timing and precision of a rattlesnake when it came to telling jokes. A laugh that bounced off the walls and hit you in the gut, it was so good. She had skin the color of warm caramel, and a deep affection for all animals. I have pushed her death out of my mind because every day I spread coconut oil on to miniature hands that are identical to hers. Since her death, I have been raising her daughter, my niece.