She died in an accident. He told us about it over dinner. The easy conviviality was abruptly interrupted. Pleasantries were pushed aside. I shivered. Tomorrow the family would assemble to celebrate what would have been her ninth birthday. A three year old missing for 24 hours and found dead following gas explosion at her family home. The tragedy was as surreal as it was horrific.
Her 11 year old cousin had apparently commented upon the anticipated ritual, remarking to his sister, "she's in a better place" before reconsidering his statement, and finding it to be inaccurate. How could she be in a better place, without her mother, father and brother? Where was she? Explanation was not forthcoming.