Love, Life and Death On The Amazon

by Steve Bernstein

10/14/15, Amazon purchase: Family Life by Akhil Sharma, Kindle $9.14
We were on call for both moms 24/7. One of the remaining joys my partner and I shared was reading a book together in bed. She read aloud. I nodded off. Dodger lay between us, snoring and chasing squirrels in his dreams.

1/23/16, Amazon purchase: Sleepmaster Memory Foam Getaway Folding Guest Bed, $238.90
Converted mom’s one-bedroom apartment to accommodate live-in aides. She’s 88. Multiple sclerosis is taking its toll.

My brother called, “You might want to come over. I think mom’s having a hard time.” As usual, my brother’s Asperger’s understated reality. When I got to her apartment, she was writhing on the floor, hallucinating.

Got my mom to the hospice home.

2/14/17, Amazon purchase: Office Star Multipurpose Rectangular Table, 4-Feet Long, Height Adjustable, Center Folding, $58.42
My partner of 17 years dumped me. Life and love were always a burden for her. Our relationship, on top of caring for both moms, was just too much for her. She was getting ready to actualize her thirty-year fantasy of committing suicide after her mother dies. My ex moved into my mom’s apartment, used the folding table as a temporary desk, and for seven weeks, slept on the Sleepmaster Memory Foam cot.

Mom died.

4/3/17, Amazon purchase: Hold ‘Em up Dog Harness, 35-70 pounds, $100.00
At 17, Dodger’s rear legs were shaky. We had our first big talk about life and death.

Dodger’s rear legs gave out.

Dodger said no to food.

Dodger and I had our last talk on the floor of the vet’s office. She put the needle into his shoulder.

Dodger’s ashes arrived. The paper bag is sitting on the floor of my office, next to the bag with my mother’s ashes. For now.

9/5/17, Amazon purchase: 8 x 8 Cloth Photo Album, w/Front Picture Window, $24.95
A birthday gift from my ex to me loaded with 17 years of Dodger photos.

10/5/17 Amazon purchase: The Peaceful Pill Handbook: End of Life Strategies, 2016 Edition, $50.16
A birthday gift from me to my ex.

Got my ex’s mother to the hospice home. Just like with my mom, me and my ex share her care, two doors down the hall from my mom’s old room, seven months earlier.

10/22/17, Amazon purchase: Astroglide Organic Oil-Based Personal Lubricant & Sensual Massage Oil – Experience Pure Pleasure – Ultra-Hydrating Natural Lubricant with Ylang Ylang Essential Oils, Coconut Oil, and More! $13.99
My ex came into our old bedroom as I was packing to visit a new love interest in Albuquerque. “Don’t forget the lube you just overnighted from Amazon. It’s for your trip, right? Hey, I can’t help it if I saw the Amazon order.” Busted. We then agree, its time for separate Amazon accounts. My ex made sure I packed the cute underwear she bought me for my trip. Amazon didn’t have the kind she liked, so she got them at Target.


Steve Bernstein is a retired plumber who for over three decades has been a teacher and mentor for at-risk-teens as wall as an animal rights activist and humane educator. He recently self-published STORIES FROM THE STOOP, seven adventure stories from his colorful childhood growing up in the Bronx in the 1960s. He can be reached at

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *