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  • Gogol learned about death at unexpected times. We found an injured moth in our house coming home from a weekend at his grandparents’. We kept the moth thinking it would recuperate on its own. But moths are not like lizards; they don’t grow new wings.

    After finally agreeing among ourselves that the motionless moth is truly dead, we made it a casket from a box which used to contain Japanese sweets. Gogol, then 4, asked if all things dead are put inside a box, having recently gone to a cemetery to witness the Pista Minatay (literally, Feast of the Dead) tradition in my hometown. He told me (a little horrified), “When I die, I will not fit in that box, Nanay (mother)." I was fixed to making a beautiful improvised moth casket and all I remember that I said to console him was, "We'll get you a bigger box then."

    When the push pins that fix the wings and the labels were all in place, I carefully replaced the lid of the box and handed it to Gogol. We finally laid the moth to rest.

    The next couple of days were left to bragging about his beautiful installation. He showed it to everyone who would come by our house. And when the novelty wore off, he just forgets about it.

    Good for him.
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