Brigid is a selfless, giving, person. She takes better care of her family than she ever would herself. She’s 23, but looks a few years older from the stress of family life and work. She supports her household working long hours at a local children’s hospital. In her free time she cleans, cooks, and looks after her dysfunctional family. Her mother is a sickly ex-factory worker, and wavers at the sign of any confrontation. Her father is a surly alcoholic that’s barely carried a conversation with his family since the girls were small. He was recently laid off from a local mill, he copes with a lot of tv and a lot of alcohol. Her sister, Chris, is delightful enough despite frequent arguments, but she’s always been a bit unhinged. Brigid loves to help others but often burns herself out. Her goal is often to just have a moment to breathe.
One day Brigid notices that her sister Chris is having uncontrollable convulsions and she was the first (and only) to rush to her aid. Checking her sister’s pulse, she comes to the conclusion that Chris is dead. Brigid almost loses her mind, until her parents come to see what happened. Their mother goes into catatonic unresponsiveness, and their dad goes into a silent drinking binge. As a result of her parents’ refusal to deal with the situation, Brigid must take control. Brigid makes all the arrangements for her sisters funeral. When she sees that Chris isn’t dead and doesn’t want to talk about it she is both elated and enraged. Her sister’s N.D.E. seems like a cry for attention and desperately needs Chris to tell her otherwise.