Below, you'll see any text that was highlighted with comments from the reviewer.
Gahh, I'm so obsessed with this whole thing. The understated but shocking first line (like the modern equivalent of Kafka) is extremely effective at drawing the reader in and the lines after that also work really well because you draw the reader away from what they're wondering about and onto what seems like an unrelated topic - it's gorgeously frustrating. But I think it's the style that I like the most - as I say, its understated and very genuine and in the context of this it works very well.
I think it's the style again because you don't go off on Woolf-esque explorations of every tiny feeling but instead you summarise really poignant thoughts of your character in a matter-of-fact way which kind of reinforces the poignancy of it overall, as well as using really effective analogies to back this up. This conversational tone really helps the reader to understand the character. It's also those little added lines you use like 'something bad usually happens anyway' - it reveals a lot about your character's mindset and attitudes but very subtly and in a really charming way. Maybe you could develop on the line about trying to make it about the sister but not ever managing it - this makes the character seem self-absorbed but I'd be interested to know how this is possible when the character can't remember what has shaped them as a person.
To be honest I can't judge it because I'm too in love with it, but maybe sort of space out the epiphany at the ending more? It seems like quite an abrupt conclusion given that the feelings of being empty have been expressed so recently.
I think you were right to not concentrate too much on setting - the focus of this extract is effectively the passage of time so I don't think it would have worked to describe it too much. However, having said this, the brief description of the birdbath is brilliant in context. It's quite beautifully visual at times - maybe you could have also referenced the loss of memory of sound etc? It probably wouldn't have added anything extra to this as an excerpt though, to be honest.
Beautiful writing, beautiful title, beautiful idea - this is such a charming and interesting piece. Well done!